Wałęsa. Man of Hope
(Wałęsa. Człowiek z nadziei) Director: Andrzej Wajda, PL, 2013, Polish - Italian version / Czech subtitles, 127 min
The final part of Andrzej Wajda’s informal trilogy that began with Man of Marble (1976) and continued with Man of Iron (1981), his new film tells the story of Lech Wałęsa, the electrician who became leader of the Solidarity union, going on to win the Nobel Prize and become President of Poland. The film charts his life from the suppression of the 1970 workers’ protests through to the round table agreement with the government in 1980, the imposition of Martial Law in 1981, to the fall of Communism in 1989. As played by Robert Więckiewicz, Wałęsa comes across as a charismatic but frequently contradictory figure – ‘a man of the people’ who derives his strength from ‘inner anger’, distrustful of intellectuals, but never less than forthright in his dealings with authority. The film’s strength lies in its portrayal of the mundane and the political, the story of an ordinary working man whose actions triggered a revolution.