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Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds) Reviews

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Tim S

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2007
Cool fucking movie!

Super Reviewer

January 23, 2005
[font=Century Gothic][color=darkred]"Ashes and Diamonds" is a 1958 Polish film directed by Andrzej Wajda. It starts out with a botched assassination of a Communist Party leader. It seems the wrong person was killed. Most of the action takes place on the night of May 8, 1945 in and around a banquet celebrating the end of the war. Now, that the Germans have been defeated, Poland has to decide what kind of country it is going to be and various characters have to decide what kind of lives they are going to live now that fighting against the Germans has concluded or will they start fighting their countrymen? This is an intelligent, stylish, suspenseful film.[/color][/font]
cody f

Super Reviewer

March 15, 2009
Part 3 of Wajda's War Trilogy. This one is considered the best, but I was a little disappointed. I really enjoyed it, but I was expecting to be blown away. It definitely looks the best and has some of the best acting of the three films. This film takes place the day the Nazi's surrendered and now the Polish are fighting each other for control of their war torn country.Cybulski is great as a man who is tired of fighting and ready to move on with the rest of his life. I think the problem I had was with the ending and how unnecessary it was or how it could have easily been done better. I also knew how the film ended and that took away from it also.This film is consistently better, but Kanal is a stronger film with a mediocre first half hour.

Super Reviewer

August 28, 2008
Stupendous work from Wajda.Impressive and too much of art class,nevertheless the finale and the discussion scene with the "crucifixion" statue will haunt you.

Super Reviewer

July 22, 2008
The final part of Andrzej Wajda's War Trilogy. Some say this is the best of the three but I prefer the previous film Kanal.
April 24, 2011
It's a real chef-d'oeuvre, masterpiece by grand Polish director Andrzej Wajda.
Wonderful, flawless, deeply moving play by all actors, but especially - Zbigniew Cybulski and Eva Krzyewska who play main characters.
I think it's a classics which every cultured person has to see, although it probably would be easier to feel and understand by people who lived under communist regime...
April 5, 2009
I was really impressed with some of the set up of the scenes, it was nicely done. It was pretty good overall. I am giving it 4 stars simply because it was so well directed. Not because I'll ever own it. Zbigniew Cybulski kinda looks like Matt Damon.
November 11, 2007
Another interesting WWII movie. This film is about the Poles and to some extent the Germans. It is about the last day of the war in a particular Polish town. I liked it.
June 18, 2007
Visually astounding. I would compare this to other movies, but I don't think that there have been any movies made like this one. Sure, other movies are gorgeous, but this movie is truly unique.
Luc L.
June 2, 2014
Well made but not exciting.
December 8, 2013
The acting is so unnatural that it's painful to watch. Maciek's faux-James Dean is terrible. Turned it off after half an hour, although I do not usually do that.
August 30, 2013
A very interesting character study. The film would be a complete failure if not for the superb performance of Cybulski. The premise revolves around a man is torn between primal urges and selfish needs and the good of his entire country and way of life, which would be absurd without the context of the film. And, oh yeah, the imagery is amazing.
December 18, 2012
Best of Anti -war films.
October 2, 2012
Bering one of the most turbulent anti-war movies in Polish history, Ashes and Diamonds have its share of the astounding melancholic glory. It's a realistic tale about the decisions that we make, the way the shape our lives, and about the actions that we must do, even though they don't always agree with our beliefs. Through the story of Maciek, a young partizan on a mission to kill a high-ranked communist, Wajda wanted to announce that sometimes killing evil, powerful people might not be the way to succeed. Maciek has to follow orders, but after one horrible accident two innocent people die, and he suddenly starts to change his mind. Moreover, after a brief affair with a pretty bartender girl Krystyna, he seems to hesitate even more. Maciek is under a huge pressure from his superiors, and even though his emotions guide him in another direction, he finally decides to pull the trigger and end the whole farce.
Stupendously patriotic and hearth-warming, Ashes and Diamonds marks Cybulski's most memorable performance. His i-don't-care way of acting and alluring bravura, compared to those of James Dean, show an actor who isn't afraid to make a statement about his skills.
August 13, 2012
As far as the trilogy goes, "A Generation" is the most raw,violent and rebellious. "Kanal" is the deepest of human emotions and the most exhausting (not the film, but the characters, ll in a good way). "Ashes and Diamonds" is the most beautiful, perfect, and basically the most well-rounded film that Wajda has ever done. While it is widely considered one of the greatest films of all time, it does have a personal feel to it, which not many film that have been hailed that title can manage to be as personal as this. This film gives a sense of proportion of the life Maciek on his own personal affair with the war, and with the rest of Poland's response. It's set up was very simple, but very great, an accidental murder of 2 people from the cement plant, instead of a communist leader. Things slowly escalate on the matter, and it never gets more complex than it already is. The film does demand a second viewing, just because it is a very layered film, right from the start. As usual with Wajda (At least in this trilogy) there are scenes towards the end that just are so magical, and really dwell in the moment, allowing us to grasp the emotions and thoughts of the film, all in one mesmerizing scene. "A Generation" being the scene where he jumps off the staircase, "Kanal" being the deaths of the people, and "Ashes and Diamonds" being the sheets on the clothesline. I know, I made a bigger deal out of those than should've been made, but I found each of those scenes brilliant, and essential to the films. This film is my favorite of the trilogy, as well as the greatest, but the other 2 are essential viewing to fully grasp and emphasize how well-rounded this film actually is.
Adrian B.
January 9, 2012
In the final days of the Second World War, a group of Polish extremists plot to murder a German officer. One (Zbigniew Cybulski), who is the leader in the assassination plot, is a playboy, fooling around girls, particularly one bartender while renting a hotel room under his intended victim. Another one tries to get into a hall where the German officer is set to be part of an evening event. Compelling at times, but could have been better. I found the film little to flabby and slow, but it was interesting and it also presented another side to those who had suffered through World War II (the Polish people that is). Pretty good film.
November 13, 2011
Zbigniew Cybulski stars as a young guy who survived the Warsaw Uprising (featured in Kanal) and now, as the war ends, is fighting for the nationalists in Poland (still referring to themselves as the resistance) as the communists take over. Wajda is even-handed in providing depth/emotional experiences to Poles on both sides of the conflict, even as it is clear that Cybulski is the star. He stands for the confusion, ambivalence, and absurdity felt by the generation who saw their future spoiled by war. Beautifully shot in an old hotel.
September 10, 2011
Well my first Andrzej Wajda film......I haven't watched the other two films of the trilogy...So considering the film as an individual entity and not a part of a trilogy, I liked it...The picture of Poland during the period has been aptly brought out in the movie...Though at the end everything went as I predicted yet at times it looked like there will be a twist in the tale...Among other things the shots of light through doorways of relatively darker rooms are worth mentioning....
August 26, 2011
Andrzej had a thing for striking visuals... which made some memorable scenes... Ashes and Diamonds stand out for me for such memorable cinematic visuals... more thn the other things it presents... all in all a beautiful cinematic experience...
September 6, 2006
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