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Man of Iron

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Original title
Czlowiek z zelaza (l'Homme de fer)
Running time
152 min.
Poland Poland
Aleksander Scibor-Rylski
Andrzej Korzynski
Janusz Kalicinski, Edward Klosinski
Film Polski, Zespól Filmowy "X"
Drama | Sequel. Social Drama. Job/Employment
Synopsis / Plot
MAN OF IRON, Andrzej Wajda's account of the events at the Gdansk shipyard in the summer of 1980, stars Marian Opania as Winkiel, a burned-out, alcoholic journalist who's assigned to look into the activities of Maciek Tomzyk (Jerzy Radziwilowicz), the charismatic and articulate leader of striking shipyard workers. He turns out to be the son of Mateusz Birkut (the tragic hero--also portrayed by Radziwilowicz--of Wajda's MAN OF MARBLE). The journalist makes use of his own reputation as a youthful radical, implying a solidarity with Tomzyk even as he searches for the dirty laundry the party bosses hope he'll find. But as he interviews the labor leader's associates and his detained wife, Agnieszka (Krystyna Janda), and hears of his travails and of his father's death in the 1970 crackdown against the workers, Opania begins to feel his former idealism returning, forcing him to consider putting his own career at risk to side with the strikers. Wajda incorporates a wide range of archival material--including posters, documentary footage, still photos, audio recordings, and eyewitness testimony--into a compelling narrative of epic history unfolding in real time. A brief appearance of Solidarity leader Lech Walesa as himself further energizes MAN OF IRON's politically explosive weave of fact and fiction.
1981: Nominated for Oscar: Best Foreign Language Picture
1981: Cannes: Palme d´Or (Golden Palm), Jury Prize Ecuménico
1981: César Award: Nominated for Best Foreign Film
1981: New York Film Critics Circle: Special Awards. 2 Nominations
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