Longmire: Season Finale “Ashes to Ashes” - Criminal Element
Ashes and Diamonds has rightly been lauded as one of the finest of postwar tragedy whose twenty-four-hour period was the hinge connecting the end of The relation of M to Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera—the. But arguably the greatest in the trilogy is Ashes and Diamonds, of conscience and of loyalty, and is further up-ended by falling for a girl in the. Ashes and Diamonds was one of Poland's first big international hits is clearly not well with the marriage even before the hitchhiker appears, and the . subject seriously: he'd directly experienced the sharp end of Polish film.
The sign of that damaged vision is found in the dark glasses that do double duty as a realistic image of the effects of wandering in the sewers as a Warsaw Uprising insurgent here Wajda evokes his previous film, Kanal and as the symbol of late-fifties existential cool.
Maciek has one foot in the existentialism of resistance, another in the existentialism of fashion. The question of whether the balance is merely apparent, its even-handedness a smokescreen for stronger allegiance to Maciek, goes to the heart both of the work and the controversy around it, as it can be argued that we are not so much with Maciek as with Cybulski, and simply because of the greater power of his performance.
Having failed to assassinate Szczuka at the beginning, Maciek is ordered to complete the job. The chance that frustrated him once threatens to do so again when he meets the barmaid Krystyna and what both had intended as a one-night stand opens vistas to a possible peaceful future—to dreams of study, normality.
But army discipline requires a fulfillment of orders, and he kills Szczuka in the dark, though even at the last minute he paces up and down before the hotel, his mind racing over whether or not to follow his target.
As his victim falls dead in his arms, the embrace is an ironic image of the impossibility of unity within Poland and between the generations. And as the fireworks rising above them illuminate a scene that shows there is nothing to celebrate, in another irony, no one perceives the flashlit crime.
If, for all its tragedy and multiple ironies, the film exhilarates, it is through the power of its artistry and because the authority of its synthetic image of the postwar Polish dilemma does indeed tell as much of the truth as could be told—as Dabrowska had said. It is also continually present in the deep focus of cameraman Jerzy Wojcik, which both underscores the ironies and evokes the oppressiveness of a history with whose cruelty Poles had become all too well acquainted.
Much of the imagistic irony derives from the title, whose source and import are given when Maciek and Krystyna visit a church and Krystyna partly deciphers an inscription in which nineteenth-century poet Cyprian Norwid asks whether the remains of chaos will be ashes or a diamond.
Doubled imagery links Maciek and Drewnowski, both associated with the white horse that represents Poland. After all, there are further links: They are given a second chance in the town's leading hotel and banquet hall, Monopol. Drewnowski is in fact a double agentpresent at the first attempt to kill Szczuka.
Ashes and Diamonds | The Current | The Criterion Collection
Maciek manages to sweet talk himself into a room with the desk clerk, who is also a fellow Warsaw native. They sadly reminisce about such things as the older section of town and the chestnut trees which were lost when the Germans destroyed most of the city in the aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising. Szczuka has recently returned from abroad he served during the Spanish Civil War like many communists in the s, and also spent time in the Soviet Union while the Germans occupied Polandand is attempting to locate his son Marek.
Szczuka's wife had died in a German concentration camp, and Marek had been staying with an aunt.Ashes and Diamonds - Renegade Cut
Szczuka did not approve of the aunt's right-wing political views, and had written to her telling her to send his son Marek to live with other people he knew, apparently people whose political views were closer to Szczuka's own, but the aunt continued to raise Marek, who adopted her right-wing views and joined the Home Army serving under an officer that Andrzej will replace later in the film. Szczuka goes to visit the aunt, who lives in the same town, to find out where his son is, but she says that he is already a grown man at 17 and that she does not know.
Later that evening, Szczuka learns from the local security official that Marek has been captured by the Red Army and is being held in detention. Maciek's crush on Krystyna grows as the hour he must assassinate Szczuka nears, while Drewnowski becomes giddy at the thought at what his boss' promotion will do for his own career. Drinking with a cynical reporter until he is quite drunk, Drewnowski barges into the banquet dinner.
Ashes and Diamonds
In short order he sprays the guests with a fire extinguisher, pulls the tablecloth and everything on it to the floor and finds himself out of a job. After sleeping with Krystyna, Maciek goes for a walk with her and ends up in a bombed-out church.
He tells her that he is thinking about changing some things in his life, and mentions the possibility of going to technical school. She finds an inscription on the wall, a poem by Cyprian Norwid: So often, are you as a blazing torch with flames of burning rags falling about you flaming, you know not if flames bring freedom or death.