The Promised Land

Andrzej Wajda

Poland, 1975

REVIEWS

Lodz: the end of the 19th century. Three friends: Karol (a Pole, a son of a land owner), Moryc (a Jew) and Maks (a German) get rich by deceit and decide to establish a textile factory in Lodz. They fight for its construction and existence with the tycoons of the local industry. Karol has to sell his family estate. He also engages in an affair with Lucy Zucker, a young wife of a rich factory owner. When he secretly accompanies her during her trip to Berlin, he is informed that the uninsured factory has burnt. To save himself from a complete disaster, he has to break off his engagement with Anka and marry Mada, a millionaire’s daughter. At the cost of giving up his ideals and his good name, he becomes a great Lodz capitalist.

THE DIRECTOR

Andrzej Wajda

Andrzej Wajda – a film and theatre director, screenwriter and film stage designer. He was born on the 6th of March 1926 in Suwałki. His father was an officer of the Polish Army. He grew up in Suwałki and then in Radom, where he stayed during the war, attending underground educational classes and studying in a private school of painting. Simultaneously he worked for the railways as a warehouseman, porter, cooper, locksmith, and finally as a draughtsman in the railway office. After the war he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow (1946-50) and then directing at the National Higher School of Film in Łódź (he graduated in 1960).

In 1956 Wajda made a film titled Sewer (Polish: Kanał), which proved to be a turning point in his career and is now generally considered a pioneering work that gave rise to the so-called Polish school of cinematography. In 1958 Wajda directed Ashes and Diamonds (Polish: Popiół i diament), a film that definitively established his position as an outstanding director, which was later proved by his subsequent works.

In 1972-83 he was the manager of the “X” Film Team and in 1978-83 – the president of the Polish Filmmakers Association, which later awarded him with the title of an honorary chairman. In 1977 he became an honorary member of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers and in 1989 – a member of the Committee of Cinematography. He is also a member of the French Academy of Fine Arts and the chapter of the European Film Academy, as well as an honorary member of BAFTA.

As a theatre director, Wajda has been for many years strongly involved in the artistic activity of the Cracow Old Theatre (in the period 1962-98). From 1989 to 1990 he was the director of the Warsaw Popular Theatre (Teatr Powszechny). He was also the originator and founder of the “Manggha” Centre of Japanese Art and Technology in Cracow, opened in 1994.

In the period 1981-89 he was a member of the consultative committee of “Solidarity” and cooperated with Lech Wałęsa. In 1988 he became the head of the Board for Culture and Media of the Citizen’s Committee, also associated with Lech Wałęsa.

From 1989 to 1991 Andrzej Wajda was a Senator of the Republic of Poland and from 1992 to 1994 – a member of the President’s Council for Culture.

In 2002 he established the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw.

He is a winner of over one hundred film prizes, including the most important ones: Palme d’Or at the International Film Festival in Cannes for “Man of Iron” (1981), Felix (1990), Golden Bear at the International Film Festival in Berlin (1996) and Golden Lion at the International Film Festival in Venice (1998), as well as the Oscar (2000) for lifetime achievement.

He was awarded honoris causa PhD titles by numerous higher education institutions, including the Bologna and Washington Universities, the National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź, the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, the Warsaw University and the All-Russian State University of Cinematography in Moscow, as well as many Polish and foreign distinctions.

FILMOGRAPHY

  • A Generation (Polish: Pokolenie – 1954)
  • Sewer (Polish: Kanał – 1956)
  • Ashes and Diamonds (Polish: Popiół i diament – 1958), Lotna (1959)
  • Innocent Sorceres (Polish: Niewinni czarodzieje – 1960)
  • The Ashes (Polish: Popioły – 1965)
  • Everything for Sale (Polish: Wszystko nap sprzedaż – 1968)
  • The Birch Wood (Polish: Brzezina – 1970)
  • Landscape after the Battle (Polish: Krajobraz po bitwie – 1970)
  • The Wedding (Polish: Wesele – 1972)
  • The Promised Land (Polish: Ziemia obiecana – 1974)
  • Man of Marble (Polish: Człowiek z marmuru – 1976)
  • The Maids of Wilko (Polish: Panny z Wilka – 1979)
  • Man of Iron (Polish: Człowiek z żelaza – 1981)
  • A Chronicle of Amorous Accidents (Polish: Koromiko wypadków miłosnych – 1985)
  • Korczak (1990)
  • The Ring with a Crowned Eagle (Polish: Pierścionek z orłem w koronie – 1992)
  • Holy Week (Polish: Wielki Tydzień – 1995)
  • Miss Nobody (Polish: Panna Nikt – 1996)
  • Pan Tadeusz (1999)
  • The Revenge (Polish: Zemsta – 2002)
  • Katyń (2007)
  • Sweet Rush (Polish: Tatarak – 2009)
  • Wałęsa. Man of Hope (Polish: Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei – 2013)

DETAILS

Director: Andrzej Wajda

Writing Credits: Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont (novel) (as Stanislaw Reymont), Andrzej Wajda

Art Direction:  Witold Sobocinski, Edward Klosinski

Music: Wojciech Kilar

Art Direction: Andrzej Halinski

Duration: 179′

Colour: Colour

Cast: Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak, Andrzej Seweryn, Kalina Jedrusik, Anna Nehrebecka, Bozena Dykiel, Tadeusz Bialoszczynski, Jerzy Nowak, Piotr Fronczewski

REFERENCES

Tomasz Burek Pandemonium Reymonta i Wajdy, „Kino” 1974, issue 12

Konrad Eberhardt, Swiat bez grzechu, “Kino” 1974, issue 12

Max Tessier  “Ecran”, Paris, March 1976

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