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Sibirska Ledi Magbet [Siberian Lady Macbeth]

fot: Renata Pajchel

In my work on Siberian Lady Macbeth, I lacked a clear idea, a film "catchphrase"'. I understood that this could only be achieved by way of a dramatic operation, telling the story of the unfaithful murderess in a series of retrospective scenes incorporated in the main plot of the convicts' march to Siberia. Their life from one stage to the next, with strange customs and amazing literary incidents - like the condemnation and deportation to Siberia of a tower bell not ringing the "proper" tone - is wonderful material! Or how about the possibility of introducing a Polish-Siberian motif and some characters from Dostojevski's The House of the Dead? That certainly would be something to show on screen.

However, the only lasting results of my labours are: the wonderful photography by Aca Sekulovic, the character of Sergei played by Ljuba Tadic with enormous commitment and talent, and the set decorations which I have already mentioned. The film made me realise how difficult it is to adjust to a new and foreign reality. I understood that a little freedom abroad was not enough: I needed more freedom at home, in Poland.

Andrzej Wajda


Wajda has renounced his typically baroque style to tell a simple, and yet powerful story of a Lady Macbeth who kills for love rather than for ambition. (...) Not only has the director succeeded in catching the spirit of the time and the place; he has also managed to create the sense of timelessness inherent to the tragedy.

Richard Roud
"Sight and Sound", London, 1962

A Polish director made this Russo tale of Czarist days in Yugoslavia. But it still has a deep Slavic ring in its fine settings, correct, larger than life acting, and its adroit visual stylization. Picture could rate arty and special playoff possibilities abroad with tie ins also apparent on the Dimitri Shostakovitch music used for the background. (...) Director Andrzej Wajda is not afraid to try for broad symbolic strokes. Result achieves the right classic mold, and gives a measure of tragic implacability to these two people trying to escape their fates. Thesps have the right heavyweight bearing. Technical credits and production dress are firstrate.

Mosk.(ovitz Gene)
"Variety", New York, 20 May, 1964

This film is available at the (with English subtitles)

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