Man of Iron (1981)

If Man of Marble is the Polish Citizen Kane, the Man of Iron is the Polish Medium Cool, Haskell Wexler’s revolutionary film about the 1968 police riot at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Writers Without Money

In 1976 the renowned Polish director Andrzej Wajda released a film called Man of Marble. Starring Krystyna Janda as Agnieszka, a young filmmaker based loosely on his assistant Agnieszka Holland, Man of Marble had a complex narrative structure modeled on Citizen Kane, a technique the cagey Wajda used to get around Communist Party censorship. Unlike Welles’ Jerry Thompson, Agnieszka was not looking for the secret past of a well-known man, Charles Foster Kane, a multi-millionaire press baron and politician, but rather the secret history of her country’s past as embodied by an obscure man named Mateusz Birkut. Birkut was a construction worker who had gotten his 15 minutes of fame in the 1950s for the Stakhanovite feat of laying a record number of bricks during the construction of Nowa Huta, a gigantic housing project outside of Kraków. Then he had simply disappeared from history. It was a…

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