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Czlowiek z nadziei
[Man of Hope]

2005

Andrzej Wajda initiated the idea of creating a film about Solidarnosc in commemoration of the union's 25th anniversary. The film, comprised of thirteen 8 to 10 minute etudes, premiered on Telewizja Polska in August 2005. Wajda invited Filip Bajon, Juliusz Machulski, Malgorzata Szumowska, Andrzej Jakimowski, Robert Glinski, Jan Jakub Kolski, Jacek Bromski, Ryszard Bugajski, Feliks Falk, Piotr Trzaskalski, Krzysztof Zanussi, and Jerzy Domaradzki to participate.

The scenes for Wajda's etude, entitled Man of Hope, were shot in the empty Neptune Cinema in Gdansk. The film records a conversation between Lech Walesa and Krystyna Janda and Jerzy Radziwilowicz, the actors who created the leading roles in the films Man of Iron and Man of Marble. The three consider if Man of Hope, the continuation of the director's previous work, should be made and what form it should take. They also consider what remains of Solidarnosc after twenty-five years.

Actors about the movie...

Jerzy Radziwilowicz in a conversation with Jacek Cieslak ("Rzeczpospolita" 31.03 2006)

Jacek Cieslak: (...) How did you feel on the set of Man of Hope after all these years discussing Man of Iron with Lech Walesa, Andrzej Wajda, and Krystyna Janda?

Jerzy Radziwilowicz: Wonderful. Lech Walesa is an extraordinarily friendly and open person, especially now that he's not directly involved with politics. It was a very pleasant morning.

Andrzej Wajda, however, indulged in a bit of self-irony by setting your discussion about August 1980 in an empty cinema.

As early as the beginning of the 1990s, Andrzej Wajda said that at one time Polish filmmakers could count on full cinemas; now they are empty two days after the first screening. But Man of Iron and Man of Marble are shown regularly on television, and I'm constantly hearing comments from people who have seen the films (for the first time or subsequently) that they evoked a response. (...)

Krystyna Janda in conversation with Jolanta Gajda-Zadworna ("Zycie Warszawy" 19.08.2005)

Jolanta Gajda-Zadworna: (...) What did you speak about with Lech Walesa at the Neptune Cinema in Gdansk?

Our meeting was initiated by Andrzej Wajda. We made one of thirteen segments of a group work that Polish directors put together to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the events of August 1980. Andrzej Wajda's idea was to have Lech Walesa, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, himself, and me to meet all these years after the premiere of Man of Iron to discuss Man of Hope.

To discuss how Man of Iron had become a person of lost hope?

No, because that's not true. None of us would have wanted to engage in such a conversation nor to make such a film. What we did consider was who the Man of Hope would be today, what he would do, and what a third film would actually be about. We posed this question to Mr. Walesa, since after the premiere of Man of Iron it was he who had come up with the title of Man of Hope and he who had sent a telegram to Andrzej Wajda to express his hope that such a film would be made.

In your opinion, what survives today of the Solidarnosc ideals?

Quite a lot. The achievements and significance of Solidarnosc cannot be revoked by anybody. We live in a new and free country. What appealed to me was Lech Walesa's observation that not we, but a new generation, are the people of hope.

Do you think that the achievements of August 1980 were used advantageously?

Yes, in fact, yes. In whatever way we choose to think about this. We live somewhere else, we think differently, we are not staring at a wall. Instead, perspectives stretch out in front of us.

Agnieszka, the character you play in Wajda's film, makes an impassioned and uncompromising entrance into politics. Today, people in their 20s and 30s shy away from political involvement. And if they do become involved, it's rather with cool calculation; they don't believe in political ideals.

No, I don't think it's quite like that. A substantial number of young people are motivated to think and act in response to a larger, more wide-ranging idea. They are idealistic and socially responsible. I know such young people. (...)

Page translated by Jennifer Zielinska






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