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A Generation (1955)

Pokolenie (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 26 January 1955 (Poland)
Story of youths during the German occupation of Poland in the World War II who come to adulthood through love and adversity.

Director:

Andrzej Wajda

Writers:

Bohdan Czeszko (novel), Bohdan Czeszko (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tadeusz Lomnicki ... Stach Mazur
Urszula Modrzynska ... Dorota
Tadeusz Janczar ... Jasio Krone
Janusz Paluszkiewicz Janusz Paluszkiewicz ... Sekula
Ryszard Kotys ... Jacek (as Ryszard Kotas)
Roman Polanski ... Mundek
Ludwik Benoit ... Grzesio
Zofia Czerwinska ... Lola
Zbigniew Cybulski ... Kostek
Tadeusz Fijewski ... German Guard
Zygmunt Hobot ... Abram
Cezary Julski ... Coachman
Bronislaw Kassowski Bronislaw Kassowski ... Speculator
August Kowalczyk ... Priest
Jerzy Krasowski Jerzy Krasowski ... Wladek
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Storyline

1942 in Nazi occupied Poland. Stach lives with his mother in a shanty town outside Warsaw. When he starts working as an apprentice in a small workshop in the nearby suburb, a middle-aged craftsman approaches him. The man is a secret Communist leader, known as Comrade Sekula. He introduces Stach to Dorota, a young political leader in the Organization of Youth Fighters. She tells Stach to form a small resistance group within the organization, and he involves his friends Jacek and Mundek. Without Stach knowing it, the small workshop is an important hub for another resistance movement, the Polish Underground Army. When Stach finds one of their hidden guns, he steals it. With the gun Jacek kills a Nazi officer. Their group is commissioned to support rebellious Jews in the Ghetto. During this mission Jacek is captured by the Nazis, and kills himself. Stach spends the night making love with Dorota. In the morning he goes out to buy some bread for them. When he returns, he sees Dorota being ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Poland

Language:

Polish

Release Date:

26 January 1955 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

A Generation See more »

Filming Locations:

Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,114
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zespól Filmowy "Kadr" See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #283. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stach Mazur: I was born here in the slums, on the outskirts of Warsaw. I grew up in poverty. Here I made my first friends and had my first lessons. I often had it rough as a kid, because I couldn't tell my friends from my enemies. I was too trusting and relied on my swift legs and strong fists. My Ma kept me on a short leash and tried to push me off to work. But I took it as typical woman's nagging, preferring to play knives with my buddies instead.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Extras: Ben Stiller (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Ständchen
Composed by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
Interesting Film About the Irony of History
10 July 2013 | by jordans1877See all my reviews

Let me first say that I enjoyed the film. It's a little sloppy and the performances are inconsistent. But it looks great. And as far as debuts are concerned, this is definitely a solid effort. Not to mention it's kind of worth watching this film just to see a young Roman Polanski.

What is so striking to me about this film is the irony of history: I believe that not only we (living in the 21st century) are able to understand this now, but that viewers of this film in 1955 Poland would have recognized as well. By 1955 Poland was stuck behind the Iron Curtain, held hostage by communist rule. Not unlike the Czechs (and their great communist satires), all art and media was mediated by the communist government. To see these young Poles attempt to improve their country by overthrowing the Nazi party with communism is ironic and ultimately tragic.

Although this film may appear to some as communist propaganda, I see this film as a tongue-in-cheek allegory about the meaninglessness of war, and the complication of those attempting to end the war with another flawed ideology. Not a great film, but certainly interesting, especially when considering the historical context in which it was made.


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