Andrzej Wajda Retrospective
The Ashes (Popioły)
(dir. Andrzej Wajda, 1965), 227 mins
In 19th-century Poland, young nobleman Rafal Olbromski (Daniel Olbrychski) grows up amid slavery, poverty and fractures between classes. He also witnesses the death by duel of his brother, after which he joins the military and begins fighting under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte (Janusz Zakrzenski). As Olbromski rises to general, the Polish legion carries out numerous violent, sometimes excessively brutal, sieges, all in the hopes of gaining freedom for their oppressed homeland.