#language & literature
Głowacki Reflects on Wajda's Wałęsa
Culture.pl presents an interview with Janusz Głowacki on his experience working with Andrzej Wajda on the upcoming film Wałęsa - a portrait of the Solidarity legend
Andrzej Wajda had been mulling over the idea of making a film about Lech Wałęsa, but he needed the right script. After conferring with his good friend and fellow filmmaker Roman Polański, he resolved to engage writer Janusz Głowacki. The aim of the screenplay was to make it credible for both Polish and foreign audiences, while taking into account the intricacies of a turbulent Polish history. Incidentally, the Americans were said to be planning their own film on Wałęsa, starring Robert De Niro, but the project fell through.
Wajda's film centres around the figure of Lech Wałęsa, the man who greatly impacted modern history and the entire Eastern European region, inspiring those stifled under communism to stand up for their rights. The director has strived to capture the phenomenon of transformation of a everyday worker into the charismatic leader. The life of an ordinary electrician struggling at the beginning of the shipyard's movement for workers' rights up until the time when Wałęsa made headlines in the world, becoming the first democratically elected President of Poland and toppling communism in the process.
Lech Walesa (born 1943), Polish politician and union activist, a professional electrician. Co-founder and first chairman of the Solidarity movement, dissident during the communist regime. Polish President between 1990-1995. Wałęsa was one of the leaders of the strike in the Gdańsk Shipyard in December 1970. Starting 1978 he began to establish contact with the Free Trade Unions of the Coast, dealt with the distribution of opposition newspapers, served on the Workers Defense Committee and as a member of the editorial board of the independent newspaper Coastal Worker (Robotnika Wybrzeża). In August 1980 he co-organised, together with Bogdan Borusewicz, the strike in the Gdańsk Shipyard and then took the lead, announcing a strike. On the 13th of December, 1981 he was detained, taken to Warsaw and held at the center of government in Chylice, and ultimately interned at Arłamów.
When in November 1982 the internment was repealed, Wałęsa returned to Gdańsk, where he is greeted by cheering crowds. On the 5th of October, 1983 the Nobel Committee announces the decision to award him the Nobel Peace Prize. Danuta Wałęsa received the award on behalf of her husband. He stands at the head of the Solidarity delegation at round table talks and participates in confidential meetings at the seat of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Magdalenka as the final agreement was being discussed. Parliamentary elections are held in June 1989 and after two rounds of voting, in November and December 1990, Wałęsa was elected President, sworn in on the 22nd December 1990 as the first president elected by popular vote. He held office until the 22nd of December 1995. During his tenure the Soviet Army left Polish territory.
Andrzej Wajda's film "Wałęsa", starring Robert Więckiewicz and Agnieszka Grochowska, wrapped filming in mid-January, 2012. Filming began on the 1st of December 2011. The picture is slated for release in autumn 2012.
Janusz Głowacki first collaborated with Andrzej Wajda at the end of the 1960s, writing the screenplay for the film "Polowanie na Muchy" / "Hunting Flies", but his real success came with Marek Piwowski's "Rejs" / "Cruise", considered by many as the best Polish comedy of all time. In later years he wrote the screenplay for Janusz Morgenstern's "Trzeba zabić tę miłość" / "This Love Must Die". He is best known around the world as a novelist, often set in New York City, where Głowacki emigrated during the troubled Martial Law period in Poland. He has written over two dozen books, including "Antigone in New York" (1992) and "Goodnight Dzerzi" (about his friend and fellow writer Jerzy Kosiński, published 2010).
Source: Press information, www.walesafilm.pl, culture.pl