Andrzej Wajda's A Generartion and Man of Marble

By Fabian Schuppert

Spring 2006 Issue of KINEMA


'The cinema does not exist in a sublime state of innocence, untouched by the world; it also has a political content, whether conscious or unconscious, hidden or overt.'(1)
Andrew Sarris

A PIECE of art is always produced in concrete socio-political circumstances; it is a social product. Undoubtedly art does not come into being or exists in an absolute, free state of self-sufficiency. But to postulate that art is at the same time always political, is quite a different affair. What exactly does it imply to say that art, or as in the case of Andrew Sarris and this article, that film is political?

This paper is going to inquire into the political role, function and use of film. The aim of this paper is to give a short overview on selected theories on the political nature of art and film, before moving on and applying these concepts to two films by Andrzej Wajda. This paper will analyse Wajda's A Generation (Pokolenie, 1955) and Man of Marble (Człowiek z marmuru, 1976) from a political point of view. Both films were produced in Poland during the times of the communist regime, but under quite different conditions, and with quite different objectives. This article will not only deal with film analysis and interpretation but also critically look at the circumstance of production, which influenced the film: the concrete socio-political situation, including state pressure and censorship.

The last part of this paper will align the theoretical framework with the film analysis and look at some key questions, such as whether Wajda's films can be understood as ideological statements. It will also look at the question of the artist's responsibility to be politically committed and Wajda's account of this problem.

Art as ideology
The significant influence of the social conditions in which a piece of art is being produced has been in the focus of many theorists. The French Marxist thinker Lucien Goldmann placed the production of art in the totality of social life. According to Goldmann most social groups, when pressured to create their own identity in opposition to other social groups develop a certain kind of world-view. Historically speaking it was mainly social classes which in the course of history formulated such world-views.(2) Art, being the expression of such world-views, is therefore the product of a collective consciousness of an entire social group or class. Obviously the author (in case of a novel, which is Goldmann's object of inquiry) is the one creating the piece of art, but the ideas inherited by the work of art were developed in a collective process.(3) The political and ideological opinions taken by a social group are manifested in works of art, leading to the conclusion of art as ideology or as an ideological statement.(4)

The term ideology is also strongly connected with the theory of Louis Althusser, who proposed a modification of the Marxist base-superstructure model, granting the superstructure a relative autonomy with respect to the base.(5) Althusser goes on to have a closer look at the so-called state apparatus as a mean of repression for the ruling class. Besides the repressive state apparatus Althusser points out the ideological state apparatus, which includes, among others, the religious institutions, the educational system, the press and media, and the cultural sector.(6) Art and literature are subsumed in the cultural sector, thus being part of the ideological state apparatus. According to Althusser most works of art are affirmative of the capitalist system, reproducing the ideological values dominant in the given society instead of being critical and transgressing the existing social reality. In this case art must be understood as the representation of the ideology of the ruling class.

Both theorists, although they focus on different aspects, show clearly that the production of art must be put in the context of its socio-political circumstances. Althusser and Goldmann work with different notions of ideology, but they definitely agree on the fact, that works of art are the 'product of specific historical practices … and therefore bear the imprint of the ideas and values'(7) of the social surroundings they come from. To look at Wajda's films leads necessarily to the question about the political and social situation in which they were produced, a point the discussion will focus on a little bit later. Generally, looking at the concepts above-discussed, one could draw the conclusion that even artists without any political intention at all are strongly influenced by the ideas and values predominant in his/her culture. Thus the pieces of art they create are representing a certain set of ideological beliefs.

The circumstances of production and reception
A theory not only applicable to literature, but also to film, is Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of dialogism. Bakhtin argues that words used in discourse are dialogic, i.e. they are inhabited by a huge variety of meanings, connotations, ideologies and ideas. This means that 'each word tastes of the context and contexts in which it has lived its socially charged life; all words and forms are populated by intentions'(8). Dialogue is polyphonous and heteroglot, giving room to many different ideas and connotations, which leads to inner tensions. Every speaker tries to appropriate each word with his/her own intentions and connotations.(9)

Bakhtin also points out that not all words are used dialogically, but that discourse is often abused in order to create an ideological closure by positing within a system of absolute, unchangeable moral truth and values. Words used in such a situation are used monologically as they are not directed towards a response but are authoritarian.

The dialogic word is unfinished; its temporal plane combines the past (other's utterances), the present (utterance of the speaker in the given context) and the future (possible response or utterance in upcoming contexts) with each other. Each utterance and reception is unique, due to the ever changing circumstances. Hence the context of a discourse is extremely important, as the meaning of utterances change depending on which circumstances they are placed in.

Bakhtin's theory shows clearly that both the way the author (or director) is going to implement certain dialogues into his/her work, and the way in which the audience is going to perceive the meaning of these dialogues, depends chiefly on the socio-political circumstances. However, not only political ideas and ideology influence a director in producing his/her work. Other very important factors include the technical equipment, economic pressure, the catering to the audience's taste and the existence of aesthetic conventions. These four factors are definitely strongly connected and interwoven with the political system and its underlying ideology, as well as they are part of the totality of social life which Goldmann was referring to. The audience's taste and therefore its reception and interpretation of a work of art are influenced by dominating aesthetic conventions and ideological structures just as strongly as the production of art.(10)

The political role of artists and art
When writing about art many theorists pay special attention to the political commitment of the artist. Although the concepts of the possibly political role of the artist and art itself vary strongly from thinker to thinker. All of them share a firm belief in the concrete transformative power of art and culture. How strong this belief is - not only in theory - shows the existence of state tools to control artistic creation and production such as censorship and blacklists of books and films.

Jean-Paul Sartre created the picture of the committed writer as an author being alienated from his/her class and social surroundings. The artist fights against the conventions of bourgeois writing and eventually must even criticize partially his/her own audience, as it is chiefly the bourgeoisie which constitutes the readership.(11) The author's writing is part of a bigger commitment to freedom and justice. The transgression of the bourgeois' aesthetics and literary conventions calls for narrative experimentation. But it is not the authorial intention alone which determines whether an author is successfully committed, it is also the reader's recreation of a text.

Although Theodor Adorno and other members of the Frankfurt School criticized Sartre's concept of the committed writer, they do agree on the fact that politically transformative art must be experimental and break with the set standards of artistic representation. Adorno and Horkheimer criticize the predictable patterns film productions follow, merely reaffirming the existing social hierarchies and clichés.(12) To blame is the culture industry which aims at securing the domination and control of the ruling class.(13) Adorno and Horkheimer focus on the production of art, as the audience in times of the culture industry is merely passive, consuming the ideological messages of mass art. Only art which subverts the commodity nature of the traditional forms of art in their present state can have any kind of politically or socially revolutionary power. For the thinkers of the Frankfurt School art must be used politically in order to crush the repressive system of the culture industry.

The German writer Bertolt Brecht aimed with his political plays and essays also at an instrumentalization of art in order to unmask society's injustice and the repressive power relations being the base for those politically and economically in power. One of Brecht's main targets is the ownership of the means of production which is secured by using torture and violence.(14) The duty of the author is to write the truth. This duty does not imply for Brecht that any metaphysical, transcendental, eternally true values exist. For Brecht more than one truth exists, what is important is to write about politically significant truth and turn it into a weapon against such evils as fascism and capitalism.(15) Even though Brecht wrote in 1934 quite polemically, supporting the anti-capitalist, anti-fascist statements of the Communist International from December 1933,(16) his theory clearly seeks to use art as a tool in political conflict. The author has a moral obligation to fight injustice and exploitation. Moreover art has transformative power, as 'art is never without consequence'.(17)

Moving on to the concrete socio-political situation in Poland and its influence on the production and reception of Wajda's A Generation and Man of Marble the discussion will show in which way Wajda's project was politically committed and where gaps between theory and historical practices can be found.

Polish Cinema and State Control 1954-1955
In the years after the end of World War II the new government in Poland generated a state controlled system of movie production and distribution. Following the Soviet attitude which regarded cinema as the most important form of art in order to educate and influence the masses, the Communists tried to institutionalise artistic production, and control the content of all newly released films. By the time A Generation was being produced the entire market of movie production was firmly monitored by the Central Board of Cinematography (which had emerged from the former state film production company Film Polski in December 1951) and the Committee for Evaluating Scripts and Films, as well as the central Censorship Office.

A key event for the film production was the launch of Socialist Realism in cinema during the Wisła Congress in November 1949. Art was expected to fulfil a primarily strictly political function, the propagation of the glory of Socialism and of the rapid economical, technological and cultural progress. Therefore artistic production was subordinated to the needs of the Polish United Workers Party.(18) The clear criteria of the Socialist Realist doctrine made censorship comparatively easy, whilst censorship silenced criticism and promoted regime friendly works.

The forms of censorship were varying from direct intervention in the process of production, to shelving movies for a significant amount of time. Censorship could appear in many different forms, even the system of party associated critics must be considered a vital part of the state mechanisms of control.(19) Wajda himself pointed out that there exists another kind of censorship apart from the one carried out by state institutions and party influenced critics. He speaks about internal censorship and adds:

Too often censorship is thought of in terms of the restriction imposed on artists and creators by the state …True censorship derives from the fear of exceeding the boundaries of decency, the tastes of the time, the social and moral prejudices.(20)

Czesław Miłosz famously pointed out that under the above-mentioned circumstances artists would have only three options: either they cooperate in one way or another with the regime and censorship, or they emigrate, or remain silent and stop producing.(21)

In the years 1954-1955 Socialist Realism was still the only valid aesthetic doctrine in Polish cultural politics. Despite Stalin's death the party officials, the state production apparatus and the critics were still aiming at the creation of films in the spirit of Socialist Realism. However, even though the political thaw of 1955/56 had not started yet, A Generation was shot and released in a time of change and uncertainty.(22) A Generation offered a different perspective on the events of the last war years, and led to what was to be called 'The Polish Film School'.

Before looking at A Generation in detail, one word about Aleksander Ford, who was one of the main figures during the early years setting up the state production apparatus.(23) By the time A Generation was produced in 1954 Ford was probably the most influential figure in the world of Polish film. He agreed to act as an 'artistic supervisor' during the production of A Generation for his former assistant Wajda, which most definitely gave Wajda some credit with the officials.(24)

A Generation
The screenplay for A Generation was based on the novel of the same title by Bohdan Czeszko, which was first published in 1951.(25) The film presents the story of Stach (Tadeusz Łomnicki), the young working-class hero, who joins a communist underground group, which is led by Dorota (Urszula Modrzynska) an attractive young woman with whom Stach falls in love. Besides Stach, Janek (Tadeusz Janczar), the son of an old craftsman, plays an important part as he struggles to fully commit himself to the communist cause, and eventually dies after a dramatic flight up a staircase, chased by German soldiers. The scene of Janek's death on screen is significantly different from the one in the novel, further underlining the difference in character to the strong headed and determined Stach.(26)

In many respects A Generation can be seen as a film strongly conforming to the requirements of Socialist Realism, depicting a virtuous hero from the working class, discrediting the Home Army as collaborators with the Germans, and featuring an exemplary scene in which an older colleague of Stach explains to the young protagonist Marx' theory of surplus value. But at the same time the film also shows the high price and the incredible risk the struggle for socialist Poland demands, especially in the end when Stach is left alone with the new recruits after the arrest of Dorota.

Moreover, Wajda and his mainly very young and hardly known cast were eager to produce an original film, conforming to Socialist ideology but also picturing Poland differently than in other films of the same time. Wajda was fascinated by contemporary neo-realist Italian film, and A Generation shows some clearly visible influences from Western art cinema, using unusual camera perspectives, imaginative mise-en-scène, and playing with the effects of light and darkness (chiaroscuro).(27)

Despite all elements of conformity with Socialist Realist ideology and a fair success with the Polish audience, critics responded to A Generation in a rather reserved fashion. Wajda was strongly criticized for too much brutality and violence in the film, even though the most violent scenes were cut from the final version.(28) Whether Wajda did so voluntarily or due to pressure from the Censorship Office is unfortunately not clear. Another point of criticism was the Italian neo-realist influences, which were not according to the aesthetic doctrine of Socialist Realism. It is hardly surprising that Wajda faced a lot more opposition with Man of Marble, which was produced at a time when Wajda was seeking (a limited degree of) confrontation with the authorities, following massive protest of intellectuals against changes in the constitution in 1975.

Man of Marble
It goes without saying that Man of Marble was a project of central importance for Wajda, who had been planning on shooting a movie about the Stalinist times in Poland for more than a decade. Man of Marble might be considered one of Wajda's best known movie, other than A Generation which was always outscored by Kanal and Ashes and Diamonds, the other two movies of Wajda's so-called War Trilogy. Before having a look at the circumstances of the production and the role of the censor a brief summary of the movie's storyline(29) might clarify the different planes being described in the film.

The main character is Agnieszka (Krystyna Janda) who is trying to make a documentary about the former Stakhanovite worker Mateusz Birkut (Jerzy Radziwiłowicz), and his fall from official favour. As this project is part of her film diploma Agnieszka is heavily depending on the support of a TV producer who is afraid of producing 'unpopular' material. Man of Marble is composed of three different kinds of scenes: i.) black and white newsreel footage from the Fifties, mostly showing propaganda material of the technological achievements of Socialism and the heroes of the working class (with Birkut as one of the main characters).

Some of the black and white material though shows different scenes, e.g. workers complaining about the insufficient food supply at the construction site; ii.) there are also some scenes from the Fifties shot in colour, depicting the real events of that time, including Birkut's record setting 30,000 bricks laid in one work shift; iii.) the third kind of scenes are those showing Agnieszka and her team trying to find material for her documentary, fighting against the odds of contemporary Polish society, and interviewing people who knew Birkut. Those scenes which are set in the 1970s are mainly shot with a hand camera giving the impression of constant movement and immediacy.

During her quest for information about Birkut and his life after being maimed by a burning brick, Agnieszka learns a lot about the political mechanisms of the Stalinist times and the unwillingness in contemporary Poland to speak about the past. Eventually the TV director suspends his support for Agnieszka's project, complaining that she neither found Birkut nor his son. The final scene though shows Agnieszka with Birkut's son (who she found in Gdansk) on their way to the TV director, giving a somehow positive feeling that things might change for the better, a feeling that would be contrasted and contradicted a few years later in Man of Iron.

Man of Marble is a striking example for the combination of different messages and themes within one film, which will be discussed in the following paragraphs. Two themes are those which can be found in many of Wajda's films, i.e. the individual against history or the system, and the dialectic of the generations.(30) Both Agnieszka and Birkut are full of idealism and naive in their uncompromising approach towards the sphere of the political. They might be considered rebels with a cause, but both have to find out that honesty does not lead necessarily to freedom and justice. This experience is closely connected with the problem of truth which is tackled in two different ways, firstly by the difference between the black and white propaganda footage and the colour reality shots, (31) and secondly through unmasking the ephemeral nature of political truth.(32) Showing the power of the media, and film in particular, to manipulate the socio-political truth Man of Marble has often been referred to as an Eastern European Citizen Kane.(33)

However, undoubtedly Man of Marble would have never been released if it didn't feature scenes which might be of potential use for the Communist Party and show a certain kind of agreement with the People's Republic and the socialist government. Worth pointing out are two scenes, one showing Birkut after his release from prison when he is voting in the elections and encourages the inhabitants of his village to do the same, and the other in which Agnieszka visits Huta Katowice, which is presented as a bustling construction site representing the economic success of socialist Poland, shot in colour and accompanied by enthusiastic disco music. It is hardly surprising that Man of Marble attracted the attention of the censor as well as that of the audience, no matter whether in Poland or in Western Europe. The next paragraphs will therefore critically analyse the role of the censor and the reception of the movie.

Censorship, Criticism, Reception
The role of the censor, or rather the role of the Minister of Culture, Józef Tejchma, can be perfectly tracked in the case of Man of Marble as Tejchma's diaries give a surprisingly open account of the censoring process in 1976.(34) Tejchma was aware of the risk he was taking when he permitted Wajda to make Man of Marble, which he even told Wajda in February 1976, while giving him a list of comments after reading the script.(35) After a private viewing of Man of Marble in late October 1976 and another meeting with Wajda, Tejchma's notes from the 10 December are of particular interest as he describes the reaction of his colleagues, and most importantly decides on the future fate of the movie.

The film must be shown, although I know that I shall be attacked for it. Suggestions for the critics: to emphasize that the hero, the Stakhanovite worker, despite the injustices does not turn his back on this Poland, such as it is, but builds it.(36)

An interpretation such as the one suggested for the critics by the Minister of Culture himself was clearly drawing on the above-mentioned scene in which Birkut is participating in the elections even though he was sent to prison despite being innocent. In order to be able to show the film though Wajda was forced to cut. 'Certain changes are needed. The main one: remove the ending of the film, which is a reference to the events of December 1970.'(37) The originally intended ending of the film was a shot of Birkut's grave in Gdansk with the clear reference to the killing of striking shipyard workers in 1970. After the change of the ending and some other minor changes the party leaders decided to release the film. Although the impact of the film might have been underestimated by the leaders of Socialist Poland, they definitely knew that the film could work as a kind of pressure valve in a politically tense situation.

Man of Marble caused a storm of reactions. Wajda was accused of falsifying history and spitting in the face of an entire generation which had helped to build Socialist Poland.(38) The parallels between the political mechanisms in the times of Stalinism and Poland in the mid 70s under Gierek did not go unnoticed and led to a massive propaganda campaign against the film. Man of Marble was shown in Poland for less than two months before the officials decided to stop all showings and to block distribution. Nevertheless the success and impact of the film was enormous: about 2 million people in Poland saw the film, movie showings were partially interrupted by applause, and people formed long queues at the box offices.(39) The political leaders reacted by advising critics to marginalize the film instead of continuing the witch-hunt, hoping that the film would follow the marble statue in the film into oblivion.

In the West, Wajda's film, which was shown as a surprise act at the Cannes Film Festival, was welcomed by praise and positive reviews. It was widely acknowledged that Wajda had broken with the taboo of Stalinism. Despite the positive reception there was also some criticism, partially of the acting and the camera work, and also of the glorification of Huta Katowice.(40) Some critics even expressed the suspicion that Wajda had succumbed to government pressure by rejecting Stalinism but praising contemporary achievements.(41) More common was the interpretation that Wajda was trying to settle accounts with Poland's Stalinist past but at the same time tried to keep the socialist idea and utopia alive.(42) After the release of Man of Iron some Western critics complained about the oversimplifications of the political and moral choices the characters in the films have which started already in Man of Marble.(43)

Wajda's films as social products
After having extensively covered the direct influence of censorship on the production, and of the reception on the evaluation of both films it is time to come back to the theories presented at the beginning of this article. It goes without saying that A Generation clearly bears the imprint of the times in which it was produced. Even though party critics might not have been thrilled by the film, it definitely conforms to the ideology of Socialist Realism, supporting Althusser's argument that the arts are part of the ideological state apparatus. However, the example shows clearly that it cannot be assumed that the state has full control over this apparatus.

To argue with Goldmann for an ideology of a certain class-consciousness is more difficult. Wajda's films undoubtedly represent many of his own socio-political ideas, as well as an influence from Western cinema cultures (especially with Italian neo-realism in A Generation), but it seems too easy to stylise Wajda as the representative for a certain social class or group. Looking at the context of social totality in which Goldmann places the production of art, it is obvious that this account is true for both films. Man of Marble and A Generation both contain many traces of the concrete political situation in which they came into being, including state pressure and censorship. Therefore both films are definitely social products of their time, depicting a certain set of moral values and political ideas. Thus they are ideological, which does not mean that they were made primarily in order to indoctrinate or as a tool for propaganda but that both films carry a certain political message. They are aimed at an active, receptive audience.

Both films do not seek a monological closure but give room to a (limited) dialogism. In this respect Man of Marble is definitely closer to what Bakhtin calls a polyphonous work of art.(44) A Generation draws quite clear black and white, good and bad distinctions, while Man of Marble presents many different voices which was one of the points of criticism as mentioned above.

Truth and commitment
While A Generation can hardly be seen as a movie by a committed director in Sartre's or Adorno's sense, Man of Marble aims at telling the truth about Poland's history and the times of Stalinism, directed against the discourse of the ruling class which keeps silent about these years. Wajda expressed in a speech to the forum of the Polish Filmmaker's Association in Gdansk, 1980, that it is the artist's responsibility to speak the truth.(45) The cinema offers a unique chance for directors to proclaim moral standards to a big audience. Speaking the truth means to 'give an honest account of our realities'.(46) Wajda is fighting for the realisation of genuine socialist values, such as social justice and freedom of conscience.(47) Wajda might therefore be considered to be committed according to Sartre's definition. His production of Man of Marble might not have been revolutionary, but its breaking with existing taboos and its alienation from the state doctrine make it a committed artistic production.

From the point of view of the Frankfurt School, Wajda's account definitely did not go far enough, as his productions did not constitute a complete break with the existing art forms. But looking at Brecht's theory about using the truth for political reasons one easily finds parallels with Wajda's statement about the artist's responsibility. Though Brecht stresses the ephemeral and changing character of truth whilst Wajda obviously uses a more metaphysical notion of truth, both agree on the fact that artistic work should be used to draw a realistic picture of the injustice within society. Ironically Brecht was writing as a defender of communism while Wajda tried to depict the flaws and failures of the communist rule in Poland. This does not mean that Wajda rejected socialism as such, he rather aimed at changing government policies. As the storm of reactions to Man of Marble clearly shows, art has an effect and consequences just as Brecht proposed.

The two films looked at in this paper are quite different from each other. A Generation gives a Socialist Realist account of the communist struggle against the German occupation in the last year of the war. It is a film conforming to the requested political and aesthetic categories of its time, but at the same time it marks the starting point for an artistic movement away from rigid Socialist Realist aesthetics towards the new style of the 'Polish Film School'. A Generation nevertheless is a product of its socio-political surrounding, an ideological statement in favour of the socialist project.

Man of Marble signifies a rupture in Wajda's production. Its content is highly political and it unmasks not only past injustices in Poland but it also clearly alludes to contemporary problems. As shown above, Man of Marble is a truly political film, not only because of its content, but also due to the circumstances of its production (censorship), its inner dialogism, its reception by audience and critics, and last but not least due to Wajda's commitment to a certain moral ideal (speaking the truth).


1. Andrew Sarris, Politics and Cinema. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978) 6.

2. Lucien Goldmann, The Human Sciences and Philosophy. (London: Jonathan Cape, 1969) 101-102.

3. Lucien Goldmann, The Human Sciences. 102.

4. Janet Wolff, The Social Production of Art. (London: Macmillan, 1993) 59.

5. Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy, and Other Essays. (London: New Left Books, 1971) 130.

6. Ibid. 136-138.

7. Janet Wolff, The Social Production of Art. (London: Macmillan, 1993) 49.

8. Michael Holquist, (ed.), The Dialogic Imagination. Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994) 293.

9. Michael Holquist, (ed.), The Dialogic Imagination. 293-295.

10. Janet Wolff, The Social Production. 94.

11. Jean-Paul Sartre, What is Literature? (London : Methuen, 1950) 94-97.

12. Max Horkheimer & Theodor Adorno, Dialektik der Aufklärung. Philosophische Fragmente. (Frankfurt/Main: Fischer, 2003) 133.

13. Ibid., 129.

14. Bertolt Brecht, Five Difficulties in Writing the Truth. In: Tom Kuhn & Steve Giles, (eds.), Brecht on Art and Politics. (London: Methuen, 2003) 141-157 (155).

15. Bertolt Brecht, Five Difficulties. 145.

16. Ibid., 156.

17. Bertolt Brecht, On Theatre (London: Methuen, 1978) 151.

18. John Bates, Socialist Realism in Poland as a Censoring and Censored Doctrine. In: Signs of the Times. The International Symposium Culture, Politics and Society in Central and Eastern Europe 1945-2000. (Brno: Moravian Gallery e.a., 2000) 130-139 (135).

19. Ibid., 137.

20. Andrzej Wajda, Double Vision. My Life in Film. (London: Faber and Faber, 1990) 119.

21. Czeslaw Milosz, The Captive Mind. (New York: Penguin, 1980).

22. Boleslaw Michalek, The Cinema of Andrzej Wajda. (London: Tantivy, 1973) 22.

23. Ford became head of Film Polski in November 1945. He was later replaced and encountered difficulties with the Party's cultural politics. By 1954 though he was back on top. Anna Misiak, Politically Involved Filmmaker: Aleksander Ford and Film Censorship in Poland after 1945. In: Kinema at (03/03/2005).

24. Boleslaw Michalek, The Cinema of Andrzej Wajda. (London: Tantivy 1973) 17.

25. Boleslaw Sulik, (trans.), The Wajda Trilogy. Ashes and Diamonds, Kanal, A Generation. Three films by Andrzej Wajda. (London: Lorrimer, 1973) 8.

26. Boleslaw Sulik, (trans.), The Wajda Trilogy. 13.

27. Boleslaw Michalek, The Cinema of. 18.

28. The scenes being cut include an encounter between Stach and a scavenger, who cuts off heads from dead bodies' for their gold fillings, as well as a fight between Stach and Janek. Boleslaw Michalek, The Cinema of. 21.

29. A personal description by Wajda himself of how the script came into being can be found at (01/04/05).

30. Boleslaw Michalek, Andrzej Wajda's Vision of One Country's Past and Present. In: David Paul, (ed.), Politics, Art and Commitment in the East European Cinema. (London: Macmillan, 1983) 169-188 (171).

31. This separation is not as strict as it seems. Some of the newsreels material shows the hard working conditions during the establishment of Nova Huta.

32. Jan Dawson, "Man of Marble". Sight and Sound, 48:4 (1979) 260-261 (260).

33. Citizen Kane was directed by Orson Welles in 1941. Two examples for the comparison between Man of Marble and Citizen Kane are: Janina Falkowska, The Political Films of Andrzej Wajda. Dialogism in Man of Marble, Man of Iron, and Danton. (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1996) 153. & Jan Dawson, Man of Marble. 260-261.

34. Józef Tejchma, Kulisy dymisji. Z notatników ministra kultury 1974-1977. (Cracow: Oficyna Cracovia, 1991).

35. Ibid., 193.

36. Ibid., 234. The English translation of the original Polish quotes was done by John Bates.

37. Józef Tejchma, Kulisy dymisji. 234.

38. Leopold Unger, "Message of Poland's 'Marble Man'". International Herald Tribune (21.7.78).

39. Cliff Lewis, "Light Out of Poland: Wajda's Man of Marble and Man of Iron." In: Film and History, 12:4 (1982) 82-89 (85). & Leopold Unger, Message of Poland's 'Marble Man'. & Krzysztof Klopotowski, In: Literatura (23.4.1980). (01/04/05).

40. Janina Falkowska, The Political Films. 77.

41. Stanley Kauffmann is quoted in this sense in: Cliff Lewis, Light Out of Poland. 83.

42. Alberto Moravia, in: L'Espresso (29.4.1979), (01/04/05).

43. Charity Scribner, Requiem for Communism. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003), 45.

44. Janina Falkowska, The Political Films. 67.

45. Andrzej Wajda, "The Artist's Responsibility." In: David Paul, (ed.), Politics, Art and Commitment in the East European Cinema. (London: Macmillan, 1983) 293-299 (294.)

46. Ibid., 294.

47. Ibid., 296.

Author Information

Fabian SCHUPPERT is a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki, Finland. His main fields of interest include Popular Culture, Political Theory, Cultural Theory and Philosophy. Fabian has recently finished a study on Che Guevara and Mao Zedong as pop-icons in contemporary youth-culture.