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1. Ashes and Diamonds (Popiol i Diament)
$26.96 $19.51 list($29.95)
2. Kanal
$26.95 list($29.95)
3. Samson
$17.96 $12.43 list($19.95)
4. Man of Marble
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5. Pan Tadeusz (1999) (Ws Sub)
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6. Zemsta
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7. Promised Land (Director's Cut)
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8. Everything For Sale
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9. Broken Silence
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10. Siberian Lady Macbeth
$17.96 $13.96 list($19.95)
11. Young Girls of Wilko
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12. Landscape After Battle
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13. Czlowiek Z Zelaza (Man of Iron)
$37.99
14. Everything For Sale (Wszystko
$20.68 list($22.98)
15. Czlowiek z marmuru (Man of Marble)

1. Ashes and Diamonds (Popiol i Diament)
Director: Andrzej Wajda
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.96
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Asin: B0000CEB4N
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 19962
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars ashes and diamonds
I have never written a review before. I enjoy all kinds of film, especially the classics and have seen thousands. Of those, this film would be ranked in the top 10. Few films can I look back on and say "perfect". This was one of them. I greatly enjoyed it, and would highly recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The third part of Wajda's "War Trilogy"
"Ashes and Diamonds" (1958) is the third part of Andrzej Wajda's "war trilogy" that also includes "A Generation" and "Kanal." This film takes place in rural Poland at the end of World War II. With the Germans gone, but Russians throughout the country, the Polish resistance has a new target: Communists.

Zbigniew Cybulski (also know for his leading role in "The Saragossa Manuscript") plays the part of Maciek, a patriot who's mission is to assassinate a mid-level Communist Party member. By chance, he meets a woman named Krystyna at the bar, which leads to a delay of his assignment.

"Ashes and Diamonds" is in black-and-white, 105 minutes long, and spoken in Polish with optional English subtitles. Extra features include behind-the-scenes images, original posters, and Anrezej Wajda's biography and filmography.

5-0 out of 5 stars isolation, war, tragedy: just a few elements of a great film
At the peak of the Polish school of film, Andzej Wajda made "Ashes and Diamonds," a film that deals largely with the national experience in Poland. Thus, it helps to know a bit of Polish history before viewing this film. The story: Manciek is a young solider in the right-wing Nationalist Army who is ordered at the conclusion of the war to assassinate the newly-arrived Communist District Secretary. In the meantime, he falls in love. The film then becomes a discussion of conscience v. loyalty, with Manciek living in both the established and criminal world and often crossing the line between a life with his new girlfriend and his continued life as a revolutionary. The title itself (taken from Norwid's romantic poem) obviously plays into this conflict.

Wajda's films do not avoid bitterness and pessimism, and this film in particular treats art as a response to the problems of society, revealing the factors that emphasize its complexes as well as its symptoms. At the end of the film, the immediate devastation has ended; but, the ongoing devastation has only begun. In fact, Wajda seems to say, it is a devastation with no end in sight because it is imposed by a memory that makes the line between life and death a thin one; Manciek wears dark glasses because his eyes could never adjust to the light after his time spent in the sewers during the Polish resistance. "Will there remain among the ashes," the Polish poet Norwid asked, "a star-like diamond, the dawn of eternal victory?" Wajda presents this question to the viewer throughout his film-- a question which he leaves open for you to answer.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Film from Poland's Greatest Director
"Ashes and Diamonds" (Pol.: Popiol i Diament, 1958), directed by Andrzej Wajda, is the third film of a trilogy of films about the Polish Resistance. The first two were "A Generation" (1954) and "Kanal" (1956). "Kanal" is being released on DVD simultaneously with "Ashes and Diamonds." "A Generation" (Pol.: "Pokolenie"), an overtly propogandistic film, Wajda's first feature and not as moving as the other two, once had a VHS release. Of more recent fame are Wajda's two films about the conflict between the individual and the state. "Man of Marble" (1976) is available on DVD. The DVD release of its sequel, "Man of Iron" (1981), which was screened recently on cable TV, has already been announced and cannot be far off. Given Wajda's political position and his willingness to express his views, it is surprising that he did not suffer more from the repressive regime in Poland. As it is, he felt it wise to leave the country for a while after "Man of Iron."

The ashes and diamonds of the title clearly refer to the physical destruction of the country by the Germans and the beauties, largely of a human nature, that can still be found among the ruins. The hero of the story, a young anti-communist played by famed Polish actor Zbigniew Cybulski, has botched an assassination attempt on a party official in the countryside by killing the wrong man. Now he must return to the city and kill the man in a setting which exposes him to far greater risk. In the meantime, he chats up a hotel barmaid, who quickly becomes his lover. The assassination now puts not only his life in jeopardy but also his new relationship. I will explain no more lest I spoil the film for others.

Zbigniew Cybulski, who also had a small part in "A Generation," was known as the Polish "James Dean" because of his vulnerability and low-key machismo. Like Dean, his life ended tragically (trying to catch a train he fell under the wheels). Unlike Dean he lived to be 39 and made 29 films.

Of "Kanal" and "Ashes and Diamonds," it is the first film that has the stronger images and is the more moving. "Ashes and Diamonds" is a less classical and more modern film, with much in common with Film Noir. Both films are remarkable achievements, and neither is the sequel (except chronologically) to previous films in the trilogy. Watch them both.

4-0 out of 5 stars Poland's Screen Debut
Zbigniew Cybulski brings to life the Polish resistance in post-WW2 Poland. Now under the rule of Soviet Russia, Poland becomes the object of Communist militarization and control. A young Polish freedom fighter, along with his compatriots, plot to cause upheavel in the new communist regime in the area. Excellent actors, plot and setting bring this film to life on the screen as one of the greatest "resistance" type films of all time. Filmed in Polish, a real treat to hear as well as see. ... Read more


2. Kanal
Director: Andrzej Wajda
list price: $29.95
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Asin: B0000CEB4M
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 14500
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Description

KANAL begins on the 56th day of the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis.A ragtag group of untrained Resistance fighters hold the frontline.They try to live a relatively normal life, and even play the piano.They achieve many small victories, but must retreat into the sewers.But the darkness stretches on forever...

A work of shocking extremes, KANAL depicts the dignity of ordinary people in the face of unspeakable horror.In dark, underground pits, gorgeous women struggle in rivers of sludge.The darkness itself weighs down heavily - but is punctuated by flickering candles and torches that create unforgettable compositions, and by brutal bursts of light from the world above.

KANAL was the second feature film directed by Academy Award- and Cannes Film Festival-winner Andrzej Wajda.It is the second part of Wajda's acclaimed "war trilogy," which also includes A GENERATION and ASHES AND DIAMONDS. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Crawling through the sewers seeking freedom
Although the film is depressing, it is worth watching. One gains an idea of the conditions of Poland during the war and how the Poles tried to fight back against overwhelming odds. The film itself is very dark, with much of it taking place in the sewers.

In this film, a band of Polish soldiers is ordered to retreat through the sewers. Giving up their holding is disappointing to the men, but they have little choice because they lack the weapons and reinforcements to hold their position any longer. The sewers are a maze in which the soldiers try to find their way to freedom.

"Kanal" (1957) is directed by Andrzej Wajda. This Polish film is in black-and-white, 96 minutes long, and has optional English subtitles.

3-0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding , But A Bad DVD Transfer!
On August 1, 1944, with the Eastern front moving ever closer, the Polish Resistance in Warsaw took up arms against the German occupation. The goal was to set up a democratic government and take control of the city before the Germans could destroy it or the Russians impose a communist regime. They failed on both counts. For a while, the Resistance, which had superior numbers, were in control of the city, but the cause was lost after the Germans brought in reinforcements, heavy artillery, tanks, and the Luftwaffe. Before the Germans abandonned Warsaw finally in January 1945 (the Russians chose not to interfere for several months with the German butchering of the Resistance), 85% of the city had been destroyed. 200,000 Poles died in the 63-day insurrection alone.

The film "Kanal" begins in late September with the crushing of the remaining remnant of Resistance forces in Warsaw. These men and women then tried to escape through the sewers, to be able to fight another day (hence, the title "Kanal"). The movie tells their story of their desperate escape. To say anything more about the plot would spoil the movie.

This is a very gritty movie and a moving testimony against war, beautifully and sensitively photographed in black & white. To have filmed it in color would have been a sacrilege. The composition and detail of every scene is magnificent. The images of the film will remain with you for years afterward. The film's director, the incomparable Andrzej Wajda, in fact, fought with the Polish resistance as a teenager. If there is a strong sense of realism in the picture, it is because Wajda lived these events or ones very close to them. Don't miss this film.

While I have only praise for this film, my feelings about the DVD transfer are very different. The image is rather soft and the audio signal is so weak that I can barely hear it with the volume on my TV turned to maximum. If occasionally you must listen to a DVD at maximum volume, you may find parts of this film totally inaudible.

The Film deserves five stars, the DVD transfer only one.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Polish way....
An indescribably wrenching war tragedy depicting the destruction of a group of freedom fighters in the ruins of Warsaw in the last year of WW II.

A year after the Warsaw ghetto is crushed, the Polish resistance, learning that Soviet armies are approaching the city and that the allies have landed in Normandy, order the long-awaited uprising against the Nazis. The battle goes on for 63 days while Stalin halts his army in the suburbs to allow the SS to systematically eliminate the last Polish patriots.

The film depicts the last few days of the uprising. Wajda introduces the varied men and women who make up one resistance group - their ambitions, their loves, their individuality, their vitality, in a context of extreme stress. After a heroic defense of their district, the survivors are ordered into the sewers - the 'Kanal' - to escape the pocket in which they've become trapped. Their captain knows they are doomed yet hopes to save at least the company records for posterity. Before descending, he stoically shares a last cigarette with another group leader. 'You know this fight is pointless, don't you?' 'Yeah... it's the Polish way.'

The second half of the film depicts their final trial of courage in the sewers - where a subterranean Passion and an anonymous Golgotha awaits them.

As the fighters, one by one, slip into a manhole behind a street barricade, they leave behind the rear guard - a twelve year old boy wearing boots way too big for him who cooly checks his rifle in preparation for his solitary defense of this last barrier. Beyond the pile of bricks and furniture a Tiger tank lurches inexorably forward like a threshing machine.

This film manages to scorch a lasting hole in one's soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most powerful movies I've seen in 30 years.
I first saw this movie 30 years ago--and feared looking at the video because I though it might not be as great as I remembered it. It's even better. Powerful tales of how peoplel change, for better or worse, under great adversity. Though many of the people come to bleak ends, the movie is not depressing or blackhearted. It's greatest moral lesson, for me, is that courage must be coupled with wide-eyed realism and stamina when the odds are against you. The image that has stayed with me for 30 years: the woman helping the wounded, feverish man through the sewer who reminds him that he's walking through shit and to keep on going when he begins to hallucinate about how beautiful things are. ... Read more


3. Samson
Director: Andrzej Wajda
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.95
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Asin: B0006A9F6E
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 21610
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Description

While attending the university in Warsaw, Jakub Gold, a young Jewish man, accidentally kills a fellow student in a brawl. After serving some time in prison, he is released at the outset of WWII. Soon, he is imprisoned again, this time behind the wall of the Warsaw Ghetto, along with hundreds of other Jews. Jakub escapes the ghetto only to find himself trapped in a different way. A Jew in a non-Jewish world , he is haunted by the fear of being captured.Based on the novel by Kazimierz Brandys. ... Read more


4. Man of Marble
Director: Andrzej Wajda
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Asin: B0000AZKJW
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 33059
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Description

Not only is Andrzej Wajda’s award-winning Man of Marble one of themost important films in the history of Polis cinema, it is also one of the most compellingattacks on government corruption ever made. It is a Citizen Kane-styled story whereWajda introduces us to a young woman in Krakow, Agnieszka, who is making her thesisfilm. She is looking behind the scenes at the life of a 1950s bricklayer, Birkut, who wasbriefly elevated to the status of a communist hero. She wants to know how his heroismwas created and what became of him. She gets a hold of censored footage and interviewswith the man’s friends and ex-wife, and the filmmaker who made him a hero. A portraitof Birkut emerges as a man who believed in the socialist ideals, the workers revolution,and in building housing for all. However, the young filmmaker’s hard-driving style andthe content of her film unnerve her supervisor, who thinks it’s getting too close to apolitical nerve. The film project is killed with the excuse she is over budget, but theyoung filmmaker pushes forward against all odds to finish her film. ... Read more


5. Pan Tadeusz (1999) (Ws Sub)
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Asin: B00074CC2I
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 29108
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6. Zemsta
Director: Andrzej Wajda
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Asin: B0000A02X9
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 33047
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7. Promised Land (Director's Cut)
Director: Andrzej Wajda
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Asin: B0000AZKJU
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 21768
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Description

Andrzej Wajda’s interpretation of a classic 19th century epic depicts thesweeping change in values ushered in by the industrial revolution. Three friends hope tobuild a factory, but their plans are quickly jeopardized by local politics and one of thepartner’s dangerous love affair. Critically acclaimed for its masterful direction and fineacting, this ever-current film has a strong statement to make about modern times. Withthe master director’s brand new re-edit made possible by Poland’s liberation fromCommunism. In Polish w/ English Subtitles ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars a must for the cultured film connoisseur
This is an acclaimed film from the godfather of Polish cinema, Andrzej Wajda. Its message was acceptable to the communist regime in power when it was made, because it presents a rather harsh portrayal of pre-communist Poland, set in the late 1800s. Nevertheless the production values are quite high, and along with the quality acting and direction, they contribute to make this a memorable film.

That said, there was nothing overwhelmingly great about this film either. Its basically a story about three friends: one Polish, one German, and one Jewish, who are building a factory and experience trials and tribulations along the way. The Poles certainly appear to lack the grace of more westerly continentals, both in costume and appearance. There is plenty of long dramatic dialogue broken by a few brief kinky naked scenes (...).

I watched this shortly after seeing Schindler's List, and I found it quite interesting in that it has a number of Jewish characters and we get a glimpse of how they existed in Polish society before the terrible events which later occurred. The scenes of cobblestone streets and horse drawn carriages also evoked a wonderful mood of nineteenth century life. I think this film would be worth watching to someone with an interest in Poland or anyone who just wants to expand their horizons a bit. Don't go out of your way to see it, but you could do a lot worse. ... Read more


8. Everything For Sale
Director: Andrzej Wajda
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Asin: B00009QG60
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 39046
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Description

Inspired by the tragic death of the great Polish actor Zbigniew Cybulski, this Andrzej Wajda film focuses on the behind-the-scenes lives of a director and his actors when they are disrupted by the mysterious murder of their leading man. It is, in director Wajda’s words, "a story about the people who make films – the directors and the actors." Film fiction mixes with reality as some of the actors play themselves. Everything For Sale can also be viewed as a glimpse into the way in which Wajda deals with his past and with his friendship with Cybuski. ... Read more


9. Broken Silence
Director: János Szász, Luis Puenzo, Pavel Chukhraj, Vojtech Jasny, Andrzej Wajda
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Asin: B00018D4PO
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 29794
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Description

From Steven Spielberg and Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation comes Broken Silence, a series of five films about human courage, heroism, and triumph over intense adversities during World War II. This critically acclaimed series was produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Moll.

Some Who Lived

Argentine filmmaker Luis Puenzo (director of the Academy Award-winning film, The Official Story) directed this Spanish-language film, weaving together testimonies from Holocaust survivors now living in Argentina and Uruguay with archival and modern-day footage. Puenzo also explores the connections between Nazism and the darker chapters of Argentine history.

Eyes of the Holocaust

Director Janos Szasz, the son of Holocaust survivors, made this Hungarian-language documentary that focuses on the experiences of survivors who were children during the Holocaust.

Children from the Abyss

Russian Holocaust survivors detail their experiences of resistance, betrayal, collaborators, rescuers, bystanders and the desire for revenge. Directed by Pavel Chukhraj (Academy Award Nominee for his film, The Thief).

I Remember

Academy Award Honoree, Andrzej Wajda directed this Polish-language documentary about four survivors who were either helped or betrayed by their Polish neighbors.

Hell on Earth

Renowned Czech filmmaker Vojtech Jasny directed this Czech-language documentary, a look at Theresienstadt, the "model" Czech ghetto set up by the Nazis to deceive the world about how well the Jews were treated. ... Read more


10. Siberian Lady Macbeth
Director: Andrzej Wajda
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Asin: B000067IYF
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 46029
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11. Young Girls of Wilko
Director: Andrzej Wajda
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Asin: B00009QG5Y
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 29241
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Description

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, this breathtaking Andrzej Wajda films rbings Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz’s classic novel to the big screen. After 15 years away, Wiktor returns to Wilko, where he spent a very important part of his life. He comes to realize his own personal impact on the town and meets many people whom he will never forget. His presence, in turn, forces the young girls of Wilko to reconsider their complicated lives and personal failures. ... Read more


12. Landscape After Battle
Director: Andrzej Wajda
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Asin: B00009QG5Z
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 27887
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Description

With its breathtaking cinematography, this Andrzej Wajda films is a romantic yet fatalistic fable of budding love and the war that would not end. Based on Tadeusz Borowski’s stories of a German stalag curiously unchanged even after its liberation by the American army, the film tells a powerful love story between two Poles at the end of World War II and portrays the destructive effects of war on the human spirit. When Tadeusz, a sensitive Pole who is fascinated with literature, meets Nina, a girl visiting the war camp, he realizes that he will have to begin his life over again. ... Read more


13. Czlowiek Z Zelaza (Man of Iron)
Director: Andrzej Wajda
list price: $22.98
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Asin: B00006AUIK
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 34773
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14. Everything For Sale (Wszystko Na Sprzedaz) - Wajda - Movie (NTSC/RC-1)
Director: Andrzej Wajda
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Asin: B00022Z07Y
Catlog: DVD
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15. Czlowiek z marmuru (Man of Marble)
Director: Andrzej Wajda
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our price: $20.68
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Asin: B00006AUIJ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 30502
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