Barking Boxshot

Poland, 1955 / 1957 / 1958

Length / Features: 88 / 97 / 103 minutes
Length / Special features: 118 minutes
2.0 Dual Mono LPCM (48k/16-bit)
Black and white
Original aspect ratios: 1.37:1 / 1:33:1 / 1.66:1
Language: Polish
Subtitles: English

Blu-Ray: BD50 x 3 / 1080p
Region ABC (Region Free)
Blu-Ray RRP: £39.99

Release Date: 5 December 2022
Second Run BD061


Second Run presents Andrzej Wajda’s renowned ‘War Trilogy’ - the three films that first brought Wajda international attention and kickstarted the ‘Polish film school’ movement. These works are powerful and often harrowing accounts of the Polish Resistance movement through World War II and after, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the struggle for personal and national freedom.

The set includes A Generation (Pokolenie, 1955), Kanał (1957), and Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament, 1958). These celebrated films are presented from stunning new 2K restorations, with A Generation being released for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

A Generation (Pokolenie)
Wajda’s debut feature is a powerful coming-of-age story set amongst the ruins of German-occupied Warsaw. A gang of youths eke out a life of petty crime but are slowly drawn into the Resistance, graduating to a brutal struggle with their Nazi oppressors. Taking inspiration from the Italian neorealist movement, and brilliantly shot by Jerzy Lipman, A Generation changed Polish cinema forever, delivering a devastating portrait of the tragic price of war.

During the last days of the Warsaw Uprising a ravaged band of resistance fighters retreat into the city sewers to avoid capture by the Nazis. In this pit of darkness, engulfed by filth, they desperately strive to hang onto their lives, their hopes and their sanity. Controversial for undermining a national myth of heroic sacrifice and full of haunting images, Wajda’s second feature is an unforgettable and harrowing depiction of the horrors of war.

Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament)
On the final day of WWII, a young Polish Resistance fighter is ordered to assassinate a Communist official. Once comrades in arms this triggers a moral dilemma, calling into question all that that was fought for. Defined by an electrifying, iconic performance by Zbigniew Cybulski, this depiction of Poland, poised between the horrors of the recent past and an uncertain future, is arguably Wajda’s masterpiece, and a landmark of international cinema.

more about the film

Blonde Stills

Special Features

• A Generation (Pokolenie), Kanał, and Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament) - all three films presented from new 2K restorations by Wytwórnia Filmów Dokumentalnych i Fabularnych (WFDiF), Poland.

• Archival interviews with director Andrzej Wajda speaking about all three films.

• Exclusive, newly-filmed introductions to each film by critic, curator and scholar Michał Oleszczyk.

• New and expansive audio commentaries on all three films by producer and film historian Michael Brooke.

• Andrzej Wajda’s newly-remastered and rarely seen early short films: The Bad Boy (Zły chłopiec, 1951), Ceramics from Iłża (Ceramika Iłżecka, 1951) and While You’re Sleeping (Kiedy ty śpisz, 1953).

• Individual booklets with new writing on each film by authors and Polish cinema specialists Ewa Mazierska, Tony Rayns and Peter Hames.

• New and improved English subtitle translations.

• UK and World premieres on Blu-ray.

• Region-free Blu-rays (A/B/C).


Related Titles

Other films by Andrzej Wajda and more classics
of Polish and international cinema
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“All of Wajda’s films made an impression on me. Whenever I had the opportunity to see one, I was impressed by his mastery” Martin Scorsese

“[Wajda's] wartime trilogy of A Generation, Kanal and Ashes and Diamonds remains one of the finest achievements of Eastern European cinema”
Derek Malcolm, Century of Film, The Guardian

“The trilogy is densely imagined, angry at life, and filthy with doubt, and remains essential viewing” Village Voice

"Andrzej Wajda’s war trilogy marks the beginning of one of the most remarkable careers in the history of Eastern European cinema” Senses of Cinema

“A film of tremendous importance. The whole of Polish cinema began with it” Roman Polański

“This powerful vision of terror and violence”
Senses of Cinema

“It achieves an almost news-like quality in its portrayal of an oppressed people fighting back. Some of the scenes have a terrifying, compulsive authenticity” Daily Cinema, 1960

1957 Cannes Film Festival / Winner: Special Jury Prize

“A film for the ages, a beautiful, brutal and still magnificently resonant tale” MovieMaker magazine

“The film is a Dantean nightmare. It is also an unforgettable testimonial. [...] executed with the hand of a master and brilliantly acted” Le Monde

1959 Venice Film Festival / Winner: FIPRESCI Prize
100 Best Films of World Cinema - Empire magazine
100 Greatest Foreign-Language Films - BBC Culture
100 Best Films of the 20th Century - Village Voice Critics' Pol

“Ashes and Diamonds had the greatest impact on me.
It announced the arrival of a master filmmaker”
Martin Scorsese

“Remains the best known and most discussed of all Polish films and a landmark in the history of film” Peter Hames

“Hauntingly fascinating, brilliantly conceived and directed”
New York Times

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