Man Of Iron

Overview

Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda's sequel to his immensely well-received Man of Marble covers some of the same ground: the relationship of labor leaders to their communist political masters and the difficulties the media encounters in covering that story. But it adds an exceptionally timely element: footage from the real-life Solidarity movement strikes led by Lech Walesa that were taking place during the film's production are woven into the dramatic story. There are a few glimpses of Walesa, and he even pops up as...
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Overview

Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda's sequel to his immensely well-received Man of Marble covers some of the same ground: the relationship of labor leaders to their communist political masters and the difficulties the media encounters in covering that story. But it adds an exceptionally timely element: footage from the real-life Solidarity movement strikes led by Lech Walesa that were taking place during the film's production are woven into the dramatic story. There are a few glimpses of Walesa, and he even pops up as a guest at the wedding of the fictional story's hero. That man, Tomczyk, is the son of Birkut, the labor leader profiled in Man of Marble, and he's played by the actor Jerzy Radziwilowicz, who played Birkut in the first film. In Man of Marble, a student filmmaker in late 1970s Poland tried to uncover the story of Birkut, a working-class hero of the '50s who was later politically discredited and killed in a 1970 strike demonstration. Here, Winkiel (Marian Opania), an alcoholic radio journalist, is assigned by the state to cover the rise to prominence of Tomczyk, but with an eye to discrediting him and the Solidarity movement as well. Like The Godfather II, Man of Iron successfully expands on the story of its predecessor while provocatively exploring many of the same issues.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Although he might have been seen as cashing in on the success of Man of Marble by making a sequel that covers some of the same turf, director Andrzej Wajda correctly sensed that the timing was right for further explorations of that territory. With the rise of the Solidarity movement threatening to expose the basic corruption of the communist leadership, Wajda incorporated footage of the Gdansk shipyard strike, familiar to anyone watching the news as the 1970s turned into the 1980s and the stranglehold of the communist party on the Polish people finally began to loosen. Birkut, the hero of Wajda's Man of Marble, had a son, Tomczyk, and just like Vito and Michael Corleone in The Godfather films, theirs was a tangled relationship. Using the framework of Winkiel, the journalist trying to do a story on Tomczyk (a la Citizen Kane), Wajda allows flashbacks, spurred by interviews, to relate the young man's gradual rise to political consciousness. The key revelation is that Birkut discouraged his son from becoming a laborer, urging him to attend university. But the old man was killed during a 1970 strike demonstration in Gdynia while Tomczyk and many of his fellow student sympathizers held back, and Tomczyk decided to go to work in the shipyards at Gdansk. Man of Iron resembles Haskell Wexler's brilliant film about the Chicago summer of 1968 Medium Cool; both combine documentary and fictional footage to tell the story of a media man's growing awareness of a political movement. Man of Iron records history through the eyes of an artist shaping real events to get at larger truths.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/15/2011
  • UPC: 883904219552
  • Original Release: 1981
  • Source: Mgm Mod
  • Language: Polish
  • Time: 2:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 4,746

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jerzy Radziwilowicz Tomczyk
Krystyna Janda Agnieszka
Marian Opania Winkiel
Irene Byrska Anna Hulewicz's Mother
Boguslaw Linda Radio-TV Technician Dzidek
Wieslawa Kosmalska Anna
Andrzej Seweryn Capt. Wirski
Krzysztof Janczar Kryszka
Boguslaw Sobczuk TV Editor
Frantiszek Trzeciak Badecki
Jan Tesarz Szef
Anna Walentynowicz
Lech Walesa
Janusz Gajos
Marek Kondrat
Jerzy Trela
Krystyna Zachwatowicz
Technical Credits
Andrzej Wajda Director
Andrzej Korzynski Score Composer
Edward Klosinski Cinematographer
Halina Prugar Editor
Aleksander Scibor-Rylski Screenwriter
Wiesa Starska Costumes/Costume Designer
Allan Starski Art Director
Piotr Zawadzki Sound/Sound Designer
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