Newswire: R.I.P. Andrzej Wajda, groundbreaking Polish film director

Andrzej Wajda, the director who brought Polish film to global attention in the 1950s, has died. A seminal figure in the cinema of the former Eastern Bloc, Wajda tackled his country’s past, present, and social turmoil in a career the spanned almost the entire history of modern Polish film, from its years of post-World War II recovery up until the present day; his final film, Afterimage, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival exactly a month ago. He was 90.

Wajda was born in SuwaƂki, near the Lithuanian border, the son of a military officer. In 1940, when he was 14, his father was executed along with 22,000 other Polish prisoners-of-war and civilians in the Katyn massacre, a mass killing carried out by Soviet authorities under orders of Joseph Stalin, for which the USSR would deny responsibility for the next 50 years. Wajda would dramatize this event in …

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