Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds)
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Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds)
This is the last film in the trilogy that began Andrzej Wajda's career as a director. Preceding this wartime drama are Pokolenie (1955) and Kanal (1957). Once again, Wajda presents a strong anti-war statement, this time in the personae of two men who are given orders on the last day of World War II in Poland to murder a leading communist. The orders come from the part of the resistance that opposes the new communist regime. One of Wajda's favorite performers and a friend, Zbigniew Cybulski, plays the man who eventually pulls the trigger and kills the communist leader -- and the results… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Honest, brutally powerful and often shocking."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"Wajda's way is the sweet smell of excess, but some scenes remain powerfully memorable -- the lighting of drinks on the bar, the upturned Christ in a bombed church, and Cybulski's prolonged death agonies at the close."
‑ , Time Out
"Richly composed and photographed, with atmosphere aplenty, Ashes and Diamonds suffers somewhat from an excess of loose plot ends and of underdeveloped characters, perhaps a consequence of having been based on a prestigious novel."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The final installment in Andrzej Wajda's war trilogy - following "A Generation" (1954) and "Kanal" (1956) - is a coolly romantic wartime movie about Maciek, a young Polish resistance fighter whose demise coincides with Germany's surrender."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"This great film by Andrzej Wajda is considered the greatest Polish film ever made, and I'm sure that's not too far off the mark."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Only Wajda, though, could muster such a mood, with everyone feeding on smoke and booze, and the assembled company, at the end, dancing to a cracked polonaise."
‑ Anthony Lane, New Yorker
"Zbigniew Cybulski as the hero is sensitive, attractive and alert -- a lad with humor and compassion. One is strongly drawn to him."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Wajda's deeply romantic and personal vision, inspired by both Italian neo-realism and by the more baroque images of Expressionism, makes Ashes and Diamonds a gripping experience."
‑ Derek Malcolm, Guardian
"The third panel in Wajda WWII trilogy (that began with Generation and continued with Kanal) is considered one of his best works; it also shows why Cybulski was labeled the Polish James Dean."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Hailed as a masterpiece by others, Ashes and Diamonds failed to capture my imagination"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"Taut thriller about immediate postwar Poland also has a heavier theme of the futility of killing and violence. Its technical knowhow, fine acting and directorial prowess make this an above average drama."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Wajda tends toward harsh and overstated imagery, but he achieves a fascinating psychological rapport with his lead actor, Zbigniew Cybulski."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"When you watch Ashes And Diamonds, remember, you're not just seeing a film: you're looking at a manifesto that has found a voice and a face and speaks for a whole deceived generation."
‑ Alexander Walker, This is London
"This taut political thriller is a fine example of one of the first Polish New Wave films."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"An overlooked masterpiece of Eastern European cinema, this eminently powerful and sophisticated drama delicately dissects issues and themes rarely visited by war movies."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds) on Rotten Tomatoes