Eighty-something auteur Andrzej Wajda’s (
Ashes And Diamonds
) latest is an admiring biopic of Lech Wałęsa: trade unionist, Nobel Prize winner and Polish president 1990-95.
It’s a surprisingly punchy rendition. Archive footage meshes with jostling strike scenes, while Wałęsa’s tense family life is juxtaposed with his dangerous career with the Solidarity movement.
Robert Wieckiewicz’s charismatic Wałęsa does the heavy lifting, but Agnieszka Grochowska adds welcome quiet notes as his doughty wife.
Undeniably hard-going for non-history buffs, but well worth the sweat.