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Ashes and Diamonds (Criterion Collection) back to product details

Come for the story, stay for the compositions
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written by toddandsteph October 26, 2006 - 9:30 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Ashes and Diamonds: Andrzej Wajda flawlessly directs this post-war Polish masterpiece. The story begins with a political assassination by the anti-Communist nationalists in post-WWII Poland. Unfortunately, our protagonists find out that they have killed the wrong men, which leads to a drastic reevaluation of what exactly they're accomplishing. Zbigniew Cybulski (you know I had to look the spelling of that one up) plays Maciek, the one greatest affected by this change. Throughout the course of an evening, he tries to decide if his life is the way he wants it to be. Meanwhile, his superior and friend also battles with guilt, asking his boss if what they're doing is justified. There's a sense of sadness that WWII is over, a sense that maybe ideals aren't as valuble without something definite to fight against. This has certainly proven true since hte war (for the most part). The script is simply fantastic, full of rich central and supporting characters. Wajda pushes it over-the-top though, with his Citizen Kane-inspired black and white cinematography. Guys like ajji who drool over beautiful compositions will be creaming their pants over this. There are several moments in the movie that had me wondering why Technicolor ever came into prominence in the first place. Wahoo Poland. ***** out've *****


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(Average 7.54)
70 Votes
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