Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Pokolenie
Poland, 1955. Zespól Filmowy “Kadr”. Screenplay by Bohdan Czeszko,based on his novel. Cinematography by Jerzy Lipman. Music by Andrzej Markowski. Production Design by Roman Mann. Costume Design by Jerzy Szeski. Film Editing by Czeslaw Raniszewski.
The first feature by Andrzej Wajda immediately showed a skilled storyteller with a penchant for politically charged but never didactic narratives (this is a talent that would rarely fail him throughout his career). Stach, the protagonist among a group of young Polish men coming of age under Nazi occupation, wisely pursues an apprenticeship as a tradesman. It is not long before he puts his career in jeopardy when his ear is turned towards the communist beliefs of a fellow worker and he falls in love with a woman who leads an underground youth rebellion. The conflict of communist and partisan anti-Nazis puts the country’s resistance of occupation in danger, while Stach must decide just how far he is morally willing to go to accomplish his goals, and make sure that the cost is not too dire for his well-being. Wonderful stuff, and would only lead to more magnificence from this director.
The Criterion Collection: #283