The Polish director captures the final images that will come together as a cinematic tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize Winner's personal evolution.
Film still, photo: Marcin Makowski/MAKUFLY/Akson Studio
The Polish director captures the final images that will come together as a cinematic tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize Winner's personal evolution from electrician to trade union leader, President and national hero
Based on a script written by Polish novelist, playwright and screenwriter Janusz Głowacki, filming began on the 1st of December, taking place in Warsaw and Gdańsk. While the official premiere date remains unknown, the producer claims the production should come to cinema screens by January 2013.
Written by part-time New Yorker Janusz Głowacki with rich context given to Polish idiosyncrasies and intricacies for the particular appreciation of international audiences, the film portrays the strengths and weaknesses of the Solidarity leader. "For me Wałęsa's greatness began when he was detained, in the moment when he was alone and the authorities tried to threaten and blackmail him" the scriptwriter explains his interest in writing the script in an interview for Culture.pl. He adds, "there were elements of grotesque in all of this, constant despair, fear and pathos that were sometimes almost ridiculous. And that is something that really attracts me in art”.
Andrzej Wajda’s efforts to represent the changes undergone by Wałesa - from shipyard labourer to trade-union activist, charismatic leader, co-founder of Solidarity and Nobel prize-winner, are intertwined with actual footage from the past. Opening with a scene from December 1970, the film finishes with Lech Wałęsa’s speech in the American Congress in November 1989. The lead role is embodied by Robert Więckiewicz who played the main character in Agnieszka Holland’s Oscar-nominated film In Darkness. Janusz Głowacki on Robert Więckiewicz,
He is a great actor, a revelation in Polish cinema. Talleyrand once said the language hides Real thoughts. In the way he acts, we feel that he knows a lot more that he says. That is what Lech Wałęsa is all about.
The role of Lech’s wife - Danuta Wałęsa, is played by Agnieszka Grochowska who also starred in In Darkness. The film features among others Zbigniew Zamachowski as the Security Service officer interrogating Wałęsa, Iwona Bielska-Grabowska in the role of the Wałęsa’s closest neighbor and Maria Rosaria Omaggio as the Italian journalist, author of the famous interview with Wałęsa Orina Fallaci who uses actual props belonging to Fallaci: her mink fur, her jewelry, the tape recorder she used to record her interviews, and a special kind of long out of sale cigarettes smoked by Fallaci .
The film’s official website: www.walesafilm.pl
Author: Marta Jazowska