In the film “Wałęsa. Man of Hope”, Oscar-winner Andrzej Wajda told the story of the great changes that took place not only through party meetings, marches and round tables, but also through one of the apartments in a prefabricated residential area in Gdańsk.
“This is the hardest film of my life. I have never faced heroes who are alive and will judge what we did. We tried our best to make a film about a man who played a great role in our lives.” He explained. .
The film tells, inter alia, about Walesa’s work in the Gdańsk shipyard and how in August 1980 he led the historic strike that led to the creation of the Solidarity union. The period of detention in Arłamów is shown, as well as how the Solidarity leader received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 and how in 1989 he gave a memorable speech to the US Congress. There is also a scene in which Walesa signs a cooperation document with the security service, and he does so out of fear for his family and intimidated by the intelligence service.
After “Marble Man” and “Iron Man”, the film ended with a triptych in the middle of which a man fights injustice. “Wałęsa. Man of Hope” was a story about a time when this battle heralded changes throughout Europe and allowed us to look boldly into the future. It tells the story of a man who never lost hope.
When Andrzej Wajda decided to make a film about Lech Wałęsa, he invited Janusz Głowacki, the distinguished writer and playwright, to collaborate with him.
“A film about Walesa should have been made a long time ago, I understand that Lech as a historical figure is known from many documentaries – said Vajda. “And what if we saw him in personal situations, when he was alone with his problems, away from the cameras, I think it is always interesting “Interesting.”
Janusz Jówacki did not hide the fact that he was very surprised by the offer to write a script for the film. “I asked why Andrei contacted me about this matter, because I was weak in building shrines and monuments,” Jovaci said. “Wajda said he had absolutely no intention of creating a shrine.”
Polish Nobel laureate Andrzej Wajda showed a very special side. He did not place the camera in trade union meeting rooms, but primarily in an apartment in a residential area of Gdańsk. “I thought it would be better for Janusz Glowacki to show us Lech because we don’t know him – as a man, a husband and a father,” the director said.
To build a real picture of Wałęsa, the creators decided to balance serious elements with a bit of situational comedy. “There is no real drama without humour. Our lives are all mixed up. And I think that’s what this movie should be like,” Głowacki explained the concept on which he based the whole story.
Wajda was entrusted with the main role Robert Wieckiewicz. He explained: “It was not difficult for me to choose Robert. When you see his experience, the skills that he has and the heart that he puts into working on the film, I was sure that he would be the best for this role.” resolution.
The director played the role of Dhanuta, Lekh’s wife Agnieszka Grochowska. “Agnieszka has a deep human truth that I wanted to achieve with this character,” Wojda said.
The film also featured: Miroslaw Baca, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Iona Bielska, Marcin Hecknar, Maciej Sture, Cezare Kosinski and Italian actress Maria Rosaria Omaggio (in the role of Oriana Fallaci). The author of the images is the above-mentioned Paweł Edelman. Music composed by Paweł Mykietyen. In addition, the film’s soundtrack included, among others: songs by bands: Chłopcy z Placu Broni, Brygada Głos, Tilt, KSU. Magdalena Dupont was responsible for the set design, Magdalena Biedrzycka was responsible for the costumes, and Waldemar Pokromski and Tomasz Matraszek were responsible for the make-up.
Speaking on behalf of the crew, Wojda stated: “This film was made at our risk. Lech Walesa did not read the script, and I did not visit him during the filming of the film to ask him any questions. He was never on the set of our film.” – pointed out.
Initially, the film’s premiere was scheduled to take place in early 2013, but these plans were foiled due to the effects of the so-called Amber Gold scandal. The company was one of the main sponsors of the project. In August 2012, it was announced that the film producer had decided to transfer the PLN 3 million received from Amber Gold into a deposit “for ethical reasons”, which led to difficulties in financing post-production. The film’s premiere was later postponed two more times.
Ultimately, the world premiere of “Wałęsa. Man of Hope” took place at the 70th Venice Film Festival in 2013. It was then seen by viewers of the Toronto International Film Festival. The premiere with the participation of the creators took place on September 25 at the ArcelorMittal Poland canning factory in Krakow. It will be shown in cinemas across Poland on October 4.
“Let these images remind us that there are moments in our nation’s history when we were able to be together,” Wojda wrote in a letter she read during the film’s Polish premiere. The director’s health problems prevented him from participating in the festive show at the Grand Theater – National Opera. In the letter, Wojda described Walesa as a Polish hero. He pointed out that the film showed beautiful moments from Polish history, and that as a director he felt compelled to transfer them to the screen.
“Wałęsa. Man of Hope” was the Polish nominee for an Academy Award in the Foreign Film category. However, he did not find recognition in the eyes of the American Film Academy. The production was nominated for Five Eagles i.e. Polish Film Academy Awards. Więckiewicz and Grochowska’s roles, set design, costumes and editing were appreciated, but none of the nominations turned into a statuette.
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