Czlowiek z Zelaza (Man of Iron) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Czlowiek z Zelaza (Man of Iron) Reviews

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April 23, 2014
This follow up to the excellent Man of Marble (Czlowiek z marmuru) is simply a bad film. Well-intentioned, but in the absence of a coherent, independent story, it is a piece of political propaganda. For the Solidarity movement, against the mendacity and repression of the crumbling communist state, but it doesn;t make it good.
½ October 31, 2013
Andrzej Wajda is always fond of portraying his motherland's important historical moments. Man of Iron is a semi-documentary picturing the Gdansk Shipyard Uprising and the birth of Solidarity Movement led by Lech Walesa. Through flashbacks and references to his previous film, Man of Marble, we are presented the courageous Polish resistance, a precursor to the prominent fall of the Communist experiment. Dealing with the battle between conformity and conscience, Wajda exhibited his patriotism with a hope of a better future in this film.
March 20, 2013
The sequel to man of marble.
August 12, 2012
Wajda's film mixes documentary footage with a backstory of how the son of the leader of a workers' movement rises to prominence. The seemingly central story of a journalist's finding his calling/courage doesn't ever click, and I kept wishing for more of the other stories.
June 27, 2012
Man of Iron is one of the greatest political films of all time. Serving as an allegory to Lech Walesa's rise with the Polish Solidarity movement, Man of Iron goes back and forth in time in order to tell us the story of Tomczyk and his rise to prominence against the Communist regime in Poland. The structure of the film is a lot like Citizen Kane as it is told through a series of interviews about the so called Man of Iron's life and works. As a reflection to Lech Walesa, who is in the film, it works immensely and tells a fascinating political story of hope and solidarity with all workers. This is a film not to be missed and should be watched when given the chance.
½ March 25, 2012
First of all. I actually don't feel it's right to rate this movie, because I found out that this was a sequel to another movie. But I am obligated to do so, but I gonna what's it after I seen the first one and then review it again. Andrzej Wajda's Man of Iron takes place in the early 80s in Poland where the Solidarity movement in Gdansk where every one is on strike and alcohol is been put out sail as part of the strike which is a problem for the reporter Winkel who is covering the strike and find out more about one of it's leaders Tomczyk by talking to people that knows him.

Man of Iron is a good political thriller that shows us all the suffering that all the workers experienced from the communist government, a government that actually is based on the workers themselves. But I don't feel I can't say that much about what I think because I feel I have to watch the first film.
½ December 7, 2011
Very good. This is a good film on an important piece of history that had huge repercussion on East-West relations.
August 30, 2011
Looks pretty decent.
½ June 23, 2011
I wish I had watched this a little sooner after watching "Man of Marble" but Cox only just recently made up this whole "advanced TV" thing and I don't think it would have worked back then, so thanks to Cox and Epix for putting this online so I can stop looking for it on cable and repeatedly getting updates for when "Iron Man" is on. This is not Iron Man. This is an occasionally boring film to an American simp like myself who did not live through the events of the whole Solidarity movement, but memories of the first film did come back, obviously the last scene of Man of Marble being re-used and expanded in the middle of Man of Iron in particular, and it is a pretty keen bit of filmmaking by Wajda, to be absolutely certain.
November 28, 2010
Fictional characters mix with real events (and Lech Walesa himself) during the period between Solidarity's successful strike and the yet to occur (but thoroughly anticipated) imposition of martial law in 1981 Poland. Filmed at that time by Andrej Wajda, this film is extremely brave in its criticism of the government and its control of the media. Technically a sequel (to Man of Marble) but even with my lack of awareness of the previous film (and faded memory of Polish history), I found it compelling.
½ January 21, 2010
Palme D'Or winning sequel to Andrzej Wajda's Man of Marble, which is better than the original. What I loved about this is that it's pretty much the same structure as the first film, except it's a journalist interviewing all the people that knew Birkut's son, Maciej. The journalist is a much better character than the female filmmaker from the first film (and a better actor) and the score is better (if still a bit too out-dated). Once again, I wish I knew more about the politics of the time, this version focuses on the Solidarity movement in Poland. In fact, I had to stop the film halfway through and look it up on wikipedia so I could understand what was going on. The amazing thing is that this film was made pretty much as the movement was still taking place and being finalized (which may have partly helped in it winning the Palme D'Or). Still, it's an excellent film, a great job by the entire cast and crew, especially an amazing directing job by Wajda.[/i]
December 26, 2009
If "Citizen Kane" were about Polish shipyard strikes and free labor unions...
A fantastic film from Andrzej Wajda.
April 27, 2009
Dobry film, wazny kiedys - wazny i dzis. Byc moze momentami sie dluzyl, ale ogolnie to niesamowita historia o determinacji i wierze w to, co wlasciwe
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2009
nominated for best foreign film at the oscars
½ November 8, 2008
Gdansk, Poland, the early 1980s. Winkel, an alcoholic journalist is assigned to report upon the strikes by workers at the Gdansk shipyards, and to specifically undermine the efforts of these workers as they protest for fairness, justice and independent unions. The main focus of his report should be Maciej, the son of Matuesz, the shock-worker hero of ‚??Man of Marble‚??. Through conversations with those who know Maciej, including a former university classmate and his imprisoned wife, Winkel learns about Maciej‚??s past - his disputes with his father during the student protests of 1968, his arrest and breakdown, how he found work at the shipyards and the role he now plays in the Solidarity movement.

The more Winkel learns about Maciej and the workers at the shipyards, the more he loses faith with his assignment and begins to sympathise with workers‚?? demands. He delays his report, though this fools no-one, and he is reminded of an accident he caused through drink-driving years ago, which is used as emotional blackmail to produce the report that is required. ‚??Man of Iron‚?? concludes with documentary footage of the successful negotiations between the state and the Solidarity movement, from which they received their demands. Maciej then lights a candle at the spot where his father was murdered by the police a decade before.

Although Wajda is best known for his war trilogy of the 1950s (‚??A Generation‚??, ‚??Kanal‚?? and ‚??Ashes and Diamonds‚??), his most historically important work emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, coinciding with a loose Polish film movement known as ‚??the cinema of moral anxiety‚??, which was intended to awaken the public consciousness and depict life in Poland as it really was and not reiterate Communist propaganda. This also includes the work of Kieslowski, Holland and Zanussi and flourished during a brief artistic thaw. Wajda maintains that he never set out to make a sequel to ‚??Man of Marble‚??, his 1977 film which focused on the making of a myth about a shock-worker ‚??hero‚?? and the reality behind this. He was encouraged to do so by the shipyard workers themselves, and given that the eponymous hero of ‚??Man of Marble‚?? died at the Gdansk shipyard, there was an opportunity for a seamless transition between the two films.

‚??Man of Iron‚?? almost acts as a documentary of the time. Unknown to Wajda when he began the film, the pace of history was to be quick and the production had to follow, capturing these historic events as they occurred before the introduction of martial law at the end of 1981, which interrupted Wajda‚??s domestic filmmaking output. Much like ‚??Man of Marble‚??, it weaves between fact actual documentary footage and fact-based fiction (as Wajda notes in his prologue, these are fictitious characters but the situation is real), and both films use an Citizen Kane-esque template of a journalist discovering and charting the biography of a man who has fallen into obscurity (though of course Maciej is at the centre stage of history in the making). In both Wajda films, journalists are assigned to undertake a rudimentary assignment, to either rescue a former hero from obscurity or to disgrace his shipyard worker son, but both journalists discover that there is more to meet the eye than as initially appears. The shipyard workers of Gdansk are not the troublemaking agitators in the pay of international organisations as the regime would portray them, but looking only for fairness and justice. Since the pasts of both Mateusz and Maciej are constructed from how others remember them, there is a question of how reliable accounts are since not everyone has correct and proper motives. Wajda reaffirms to us that memories are not necessarily the truth, but just a version of it.

Much like ‚??Man of Marble‚??, there is an examination of how valid documentary footage is, but also how use and control of the media, which is in the hands of the state, can be used again to depict a version of the truth that is satisfactory to it. Since ‚??Man of Iron‚?? partly continues the ending of ‚??Man of Marble‚??, Wajda reveals that Agniezka‚??s film about Mateusz was taken away from her because it discovered truths not palatable to the regime. When the authorities discover Winkel is stalling on his own film when he claims it is not finished, he is told that ‚??editing‚??s not your job‚??. Therefore it does not really matter what Winkel hands in, it will inevitably be tailored to what was originally intended. Media is able to be manipulated though Wajda reveals at the start of the film that it was possible to slip subversive elements through which the authorities might not pick up on. This reflects the slight thaw of the era before martial law was introduced.

Although ‚??Man of Iron‚?? was not originally conceived as a document of historical events, certainly by the time it reached Cannes in the Summer of 1981, that is how it would forever be remembered as it coincided with the rapid course of history in Wajda‚??s native Poland. Maciej himself should possibly be seen as a representation of Lech Walesa, who appears in the film blessing the marriage of Maciej and Agniezka (‚??I trust you will be a democratic couple‚??) and remains the only Nobel Peace Prize winner to feature in a Palme D‚??Or winning film. Interestingly, Wajda reveals how religion played an active role in the daily lives of most Polish, despite Communism being a secular ideology. The Catholic church was deeply involved in the rise of Solidarity, shown in numerous scenes where the shipyard workers pray. Wajda reveals the insecurity of the Communist regime in Poland and how of all the countries in Eastern Europe it was most susceptible. ‚??Man of Iron‚?? remains an important film, a document of a declining regime and the collective action that accelerated it, but also an example of the clever interweaving of documentary footage and fiction to represent a historical significant set of events.
½ October 23, 2008
The gloomy sequel of Wajda's "Man of Marble". A tribute to Solidarnosc struggle for political and social change in Poland.
Wajda deserves to be numbered amongs the major European directors ever, as his work is a fundamental contribution to the knowledge and to the understanding of the tormented history of Poland in the 20th century.
May 9, 2008
seen it on the BBC in 1981
great film, along with man of marble
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