Polish auteur Andrzej Wajda dead at 90
Warsaw, Oct 10 (IANS) Oscar-winning Polish film director Andrzej Wajda has died aged 90.
The news of the death of Wajda — who had been recently taken to hospital — here was confirmed by a representative of the Polish Filmmakers’ Association, reported bbc.com.
Film director and head of the Polish Filmmakers’ Association Jacek Bromski told Polish broadcaster TVN24: “He was one of the greatest Polish artists, one of the best-known in the world. Poland was his passion.
“For us, for the community he was a pillar of strength, everybody gathered around him. He was always present in the life of the film-making community, he was a mentor, a paragon.”
Wajda had recently been hospitalised and died on Sunday night, said Bromski.
Wajda, who made more than 40 feature films in a career spanning 60 years, explored the theme of Poland’s turbulent wartime and communist history through his films like “Kanal”, “Man of Marble”, “Man of Iron” and “Katyn”.
Bbc.com reported that Donald Tusk, Poland’s former Prime Minister and the current head of the European Council, tweeted: “We all stem from Wajda. We looked at Poland and at ourselves through him. And we understood better. Now it will be more difficult.”
In 2000, Wajda was awarded an honorary Oscar for his contribution to world cinema.
Wajda’s last film “Powidoki” (Afterimage) was chosen as Poland’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Oscars. It tells the life story of the avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski, who suffered under the post-war Stalinist government in Poland.
Tributes came in for the filmmaker from different quarters.
Film critic Tomasz Raczek said: “Polish cinema will be in mourning for a long time.”
Actor Daniel Olbrychski, who starred in 13 of Wajda’s movies, including “The Promised Land” and “The Maids of Wilko”, told TVN24: “We could feel the love of our audience through him. But when he frowned just a little, I knew I had to try and do it better.”
Wajda is survived by his fourth wife, actress and stage designer Krystyna Zachwatowicz, and his daughter, Karolina.