WAŁĘSA. Man of Hope Production Notes - PDF

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presents WAŁĘSA. Man of Hope Production Notes 127 Poland 2013 DCP, 35mm Cast: LECH WAŁĘSA - ROBERT WIĘCKIEWICZ DANUTA WAŁĘSA - AGNIESZKA GROCHOWSKA NAWIŚLAK - ZBIGNIEW ZAMACHOWSKI MAJCHRZAK - CEZARY KOSIŃSKI

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presents WAŁĘSA. Man of Hope Production Notes 127 Poland 2013 DCP, 35mm Cast: LECH WAŁĘSA - ROBERT WIĘCKIEWICZ DANUTA WAŁĘSA - AGNIESZKA GROCHOWSKA NAWIŚLAK - ZBIGNIEW ZAMACHOWSKI MAJCHRZAK - CEZARY KOSIŃSKI ORIANA FALLACI MARIA ROSARIA OMAGGIO DIRECTOR OF THE SHIPYARD MIROSŁAW BAKA PRIEST MACIEJ STUHR and others Credits: director - Andrzej Wajda screenplay - Janusz Głowacki director of photography - Paweł Edelmann psc creative support and cast - Ewa Brodzka sound - Jacek Hamela makeup - Waldemar Pokromski, Tomasz Matraszek costume designer - Magdalena Biedrzycka production designer - Magdalena Dipont editing - Grażyna Gradoń psm, Milenia Fiedler psm production manager - Paweł Gabryś executive producer - Katarzyna Fukacz - Cebula, Małgorzata Fogel - Gabryś producer - Michał Kwieciński 2 PRODUCTION AKSON STUDIO CO-PRODUCTION: ORANGE TVP TELEWIZJA POLSKA S.A. NCK NATIONAL CENTER FOR CULTURE CANAL + co- financing by POLISH FILM INSTITUTE FILM DISTRIBUTOR (Poland) ITI CINEMA SPONSORS ENERGA and SAUR NEPTUN FILM PARTNER Gdańsk City of Freedom HONORRARY PATRONAGE of Mr. Bogdan Zdrojewski The Minister of Culture and National Haritage MEDIA PARTNER TVP Telewizja Polska shot on 35mm Web site: 3 About the Film How was it possible for a single person to change the world so dramatically? It is as much a political as a psychological question. Wajda, intruding into a private, even intimate sphere of Lech Wałęsa the Polish Solidarity Trade Union s leader, attempts to capture a phenomenon of this incredible metamorphosis: from a simple worker into a charismatic leader. Wałęsa s controversial persona, fostering heated discussions that last till this very day, helped millions of people in releasing the suppressed dreams of freedom, setting the stage for the political transformations beyond anyone s imagination at the time. And yet, Wałęsa s story does not only have this one psychological or local dimension. With time, it become embedded in the context of international politics. The life of a simple electrician, at first fighting for his fellow workers rights, echoed only some remote events until it was Wałęsa himself and millions of his fellow countrywomen and men that made the world news for several crucial years of the 1980s leading to the collapse of the Iron Curtain order. This historical perspective, combined with a dynamic story of a daily life in the Polish People s Republic, should help comprehend a phenomenon of these transformations. The film is addressed to the young audiences, at the same time constituting a reminder of an outstanding filmmaker: Sometimes you must fight for freedom, sometimes you must defend it, there are, however, no circumstances which could excuse you from contemplating it. Now, 30 years after the events that overturned the political, past-ww2 order of Europe, the world experiences a next wave of modern revolutions. The Green Movement in Iran, similarly as the Solidarity did, employs and re-defines traditional religious symbols for conveying the political message of freedom; people in Egypt launch massive protests and manifestations of the citizen disagreement not only on the Tahrir square, but across the country, facing brutality of the police and paramilitary forces. Burma s semi-free elections, bloodshed during protests, charismatic leader of the opposition Myanmar interned by the government, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize seems to follow a comparable scenario. Additionally, the recent citizen massive protests in Turkey and Brazil prove that the new revolutionary wave is not restricted to the Arab Spring and has a potential of reaching deeper into the foundations of the world order. It strongly resonates with Lech Wałęsa s words at the US Congress that conclude the film: Now others jump fences and tear down the walls. They do it because freedom is a human right. Synopsis The New Europe has its beginnings in Gdansk! Wałęsa. Man of Hope is a story of a contemporary hero Lech Wałęsa (Robert Więckiewicz). The movie begins with Oriana Fallaci (Maria Rosaria Omaggio) appearing at the Wałęsas flat in an apartment block to interview the future Nobel Prize winner. The emotion-packed conversation with one of the world most famous journalists constitutes a fabric of the movie narrative. Fallaci poses questions no one else ever wanted or dared to ask the legendary leader of the Solidarity movement. By doing so, she unveils the truth of a man gifted with charisma and amazing political intuition. The actual biographical story begins in 1970: Soon after the communist authorities have bloodily suppressed the workers protests, Wałęsa is forced to sign an obligation to collaborate with the Security Services. The following scenes showing hero s path to political maturity are interwoven with the Wałęsas family life. The relationship between Lech and Danuta (Agnieszka Grochowska), their 4 house full of kids and daily problems are as important as politics they thought they were to live regular lives in their Gdansk apartment, but instead they were surrounded by momentous, political events, calling for taking a stand. Behind the strong man there is as it turns out a much stronger woman, his wife. Sometimes freedom needs to be fought for and your homeland needs to be protected. Politics and love, fear and sense of security, necessity of subordination and a will to rebel the film, just as Lech Wałęsa s life, is full of contrast. His sense of duty towards the nation intertwines with that towards the family; the love of his wife and children with the love of his country. Is Lech making the right choices? What is the price he needs to pay? Long Synopsis The New Europe has its beginnings in Gdansk! Wałęsa. Man of Hope is a story of a contemporary hero Lech Wałęsa (Robert Więckiewicz). The movie begins with Oriana Fallaci (Maria Rosaria Omaggio) appearing at the Wałęsas flat in an apartment block to interview the future Nobel Prize winner. The emotion-packed conversation with one of the world most famous journalists constitutes a fabric of the movie narrative. Fallaci poses questions no one else ever wanted or dared to ask the legendary leader of the Solidarity movement. By doing so, she unveils the truth of a man gifted with charisma and amazing political intuition. The actual biographical story begins in 1970: Soon after the communist authorities have bloodily suppressed the workers protests, Wałęsa is forced to sign an obligation to collaborate with the Security Services. The following scenes showing hero s path to political maturity are interwoven with the Wałęsas family life. The relationship between Lech and Danuta (Agnieszka Grochowska), their house full of kids and daily problems are as important as politics they thought they were to live regular lives in their Gdansk apartment, but instead they were surrounded by momentous, political events, calling for taking a stand. Behind the strong man there is as it turns out a much stronger woman, his wife. According to the real events, the scene when Lech is arrested together with his several months old daughter, in whose pram he s smuggling illegal fliers, alternates with another scene showing Danuta having to face Security Services operatives once again rummaging through their flat full of children. Lech s speech at the Shipyard on the 9th anniversary of the December 1970 massacre is the moment when, for the first time, Wałęsa demonstrates his leadership skills and his ability to enchant the crowds. Half a year later, in August 1980, he leads a strike at the Shipyard in Gdansk, becoming the Solidarity movement s leader, the symbol of opposition, and the struggle for democracy. When the martial law is introduced in 1981, Lech is taken from his flat in Gdansk. His year-long internment proves to be a time of trial: Wałęsa although cut off from any contact with the opposition activists does not give up and does not agree to cooperate with the communist authorities, even though the offer is made several times. Lech Wałęsa getting a warm welcome in Gdansk after his return from internment as well as him being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize are two signs of victory that is to be finally won in 1989 at the Round Table. The consequent first partly free, democratic elections in the Communist Block, result in turn in the following change of the political system. In the final scene of the movie Lech Wałęsa makes his speech to the US Congress, opening with the words: We, the People 5 Lech Wałęsa Biography Lech Wałęsa, was born on September 29, 1943 in Popowo (Poland). Co-founder and a first leader of the Solidarity ( Solidarność ) trade union movement. In August 1980 he led the Gdansk shipyard strike. As a result of the strike, the communist authorities capitulated and agreed to sign Gdansk Agreement (August 31, 1980). He was fighting for a right of a working people to associate and for the dignity of human labour. During the martial law, which was introduced in December 1981, he was interned and isolated. Lech Wałęsa, a charismatic leader of the Polish opposition, has eight children with his beloved wife Danuta (married in 1969). When he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, it was she, who went to Oslo and read the acceptance speech: We desire peace - and that is why we have never resorted to physical force. We crave for justice - and that is why we are so persistent in the struggle for our rights. We seek freedom of convictions - and that is why we have never attempted to enslave man's conscience nor shall we ever attempt to do so. During the following transformation process, he played a key role in talks between the communist party and the opposition. Wałęsa was elected as the President of Poland in In December 1970 Lech Wałęsa is one of the leaders of the Gdańsk Shipyard strike and becomes a member of the Strike Committee In 1978 he starts collaboration with the Free Trade Unions of the Coast and distributes opposition s press. He then becomes a co-worker of the Workers Defence Committee and joins the editorial staff of the independent biweekly Robotnik Wybrzeża ( Worker of the Coast ) In August 1980 he is one of the organizers, alongside e.g. Bogdan Borusewicz of the Gdańsk Shipyard strike and becomes its leader. After other protesting groups join in, he proclaims it a solidarity strike December 13 th, 1981 he is detained, transferred to Warsaw, then interned in government facilities in Chylice, Otwock Wielki and, finally, in Arłamów. When the decision of his internment is overturned in November 1982, Lech Wałęsa goes back to Gdańsk, where he is welcomed by crowds of people On October 5th 1983, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announces its decision to award Lech Wałęsa with the Nobel Peace Prize. His wife, Danuta Wałęsa, collects the prize on his behalf During the Roundtable Talks in Warsaw Wałęsa is a head of the Solidarity delegation. He also participates in confidential meetings at the Ministry of the Interior Affairs facility in Magdalenka, which are decisive in concluding the agreement. As a result, parliamentary elections are held in June After two rounds of elections in November and December of 1990, he is elected President of the Republic of Poland. On December 22nd he is sworn in as the first president elected in the popular elections. Wałęsa remains in office until December 22 nd, During his time in office the Soviet Army leaves the Polish territory. 6 History Time-Line 1968 The Prague Spring, ensuing attempts at liberalization of the communist regime by the reformist First Secretary Alexander Dubček, witnesses rising protests of students and intellectuals calling for freedom of the media, speech and travel. They are followed by the massive student and intelligentsia protests in Poland, known as March 1968, when the communist government forcibly crushes manifestations taking control over the universities. The consequent military intervention of the Soviet Block in the then Czechoslovakia, violently surpasses the growing popular opposition against the communist government. December 1970 Polish 1970 massive workers protest, known as December 70, lasts 5 days. 42 people are killed and more than 1000 wounded by the state militia. Protests begin after sudden increase of a food prices. In a result of the mass riots, Edward Gierek becomes new secretary of the communist party. Prices come back to their previous levels (as an effect of the party actions in the state-regulated economy). June 1976 The government announces a plan of a drastic increase of prices. In response, the workers of Radom and Ursus factories start to protest. Militia pacifies the crowds - over 150 people are killed. Under a pressure of Moscow, the governmental plan is however backed off. Many workers lose their job and are repressed. The opposition founds the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR) to fight with the injustice. KOR is an example of the successful social self-organization dealing with the issues of a daily life. It becomes a precursor and inspiration for the Solidarity trade union few years later. October 1978 Cardinal Karol Wojtyła is elected a new pope. John Paul II future pilgrimages attract millions of Poles, strongly influencing people s minds. The political role of the Catholic Church in Poland rises. August 1980 Meat prices increase. General economic situation in the country is very poor. Workers in the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk begin a strike. On August 16 th the strike is called back, but at night the Inter- Factory Strike Committee (MKS) lists 21 demands, including also the political postulates. The following talks between the opposition supported by intellectuals, and the government result in the Gdansk Agreement that is signed on August 31 st. The main point for the workers is the establishment of a trade union, independent of the communist party control, and gaining a legal right to strike. October Trade union Solidarność (Solidarity) is officially registered. With this, many similar associations, like the Independent Students Union, are also legalized. January 1981 Mass protests in the whole country. People start to speak openly about their needs. December Martial law is imposed. Many of the Solidarity's leaders, including Wałęsa, are imprisoned. July 1983 Martial law is lifted. During the martial law thousands of opposition activists are interned without charge, and as many as 100 people are killed. Many of the political prisoners are not released until the general amnesty in Mikhail Gorbachev as the first secretary of the USSR communist party introduces the glasnosts and perestroika program of reforms of the communist political system. Economic situation in Poland is terrible. February April 1989 The round-table talks between Solidarity, the Communists and the Catholic Church. The following partially free parliamentary elections see the overwhelming success of the Solidarity, who now coforms the coalition government. March The free parliamentary elections are allowed in Hungary, and the border between Hungary and Austria is opened. June Mikhail Gorbachev refuses to intervene in Hungary and Poland. Fall th November brings the Fall of the Berlin Wall. The communist governments in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Romania fall one after another. June 1991 Croatia and Slovenia declare independence starting the dissolution of Yugoslavia, that after the ensuing 10 year long bloody civil war, splits into Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the region of Kosovo. August Military coup in Moscow Mikhail Gorbachev is put into a house arrest, Boris Yeltsin defies the takeover of power by occupying the Parliament building. December Dissolution of the Soviet Union. Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan declare independence and form their own states. 8 Andrzej Wajda Director s Statement I am well aware Wałęsa is the most difficult subject I have ever dealt with in the 55 years of my film career, but I just don t see any other director making a movie about Lech that I would find satisfying. I have no other choice. The screenplay by Janusz Głowacki is the first and the only one, though some parts have been altered, but that s a natural process and there is no other way when you make a movie whose subject, in this case Lech Wałęsa, is getting so much response from the future audiences. I admired Wałęsa from the very first moment I met him during the talks between Solidarity and the Government Committee. This movie will reflect all that. Movie is addressed to everyone, but I d especially like to reach the younger audiences, as Lech is a good example to convince them that they should participate in our political life. About the Filmmakers ANDRZEJ WAJDA Director Film and theatrical director; born March 6 th 1926 in Suwałki, Poland; Education: Academy of Fine Arts, Krakow; Film School Łódź; Film Director 1954; Theater Dir. Teatr Stary, Cracow ; Man. Dir. Teatr Powszechny Warsaw ; Hon. mem. Union Polish Artist and Designers (ZPAP) 1977; President Polish Film Assoc ; Solidarity Lech Wałęsa Council ; Senator of the Republic of Poland ; Presidential Council for Culture ; Founder: Center of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow 1994; Dr. h. c.: American University Washington 1981; University Bologna 1988; Jagiellonian University Krakow 1989; University Lyon 1995; University Libre Bruxelle 1995; Gdańsk University 2004; University of Warsaw 2005; Membre Institut de France 1997; Prizes: - State First Class Prize 1974; - Order of the Banner of Labor (second class) 1975; - Konrad Swinarski Prize 1976; - Premio David di Donatello Luchino Visconti, Italy 1978; - Officer s Cross of Order of Polonia Restituta; - Order of Kirill and Methodus (first class), Bulgaria 1978; - BAFTA Fellowship 1982; - Onassis Prize, Greece 1982; - Oficier, Legion d`honneur 1982 France; - Cesar Award, France 1983; - Pirandello Artistic Award, Italy 1986; - Kyoto Prize, Japan 1987; - Felix European Film Awards Lifetime Achievement Award 1990; - Order of Rising Sun, Japan 1995; Premium Imperiale, Japan 1997; - Golden Lion Life Achievement Award, Venice, 1998; - OSCAR American Film Academy - Lifetime Achievement Award 2000; - Commandeur, Legion d`honneur France 2001; 9 - Golden Bear Life Achievement Award, IFF Berlin 2006; - European Film Award Prix FIPRESCI Films: - Pokolenie (Generation) 1954 (Polish State Prize); - Idę do Słońca (I`m Going to the Sun) 1955; - Kanał (Canal) 1957 (Jury Special Award Silver Palm, Cannes IFF 1957); - Popiół i diament (Ashes and Diamond) 1957 (FIPRESCI Prize Venice IFF 1959, D. O. Selznick`s Silver Laurel Award 1962); - Lotna 1959; - Niewinni czarodzieje (Innocent Sorcerers) 1960; - Samson 1961; - Sibirska Ledi Makbet (Siberian Lady Macbeth) 1962; - L`amour a Vingt Ans (Love at Twenty) 1962; - Popioły (Ashes) 1965; - Gates to Paradise 1968; - Wszystko na sprzedaż (Everything for Sale) 1969; - Polowanie na muchy (Hunting Flies) 1969; - Krajobraz po bitwie (Landscape After the Battle) 1970 (Golden Globe Milan 1971); - Brzezina (The Birch Wood) 1970 (FIPRESCI Milan IFF 1970, Golden Medal Moscow IFF 1971); - Wesele (The Wedding) 1973 (Silver Shell San Sebastian IFF 1973); - Ziemia obiecana (The Promised Land) 1975 (Gdańsk FF Golden Lions 1975, Golden Medal Moscow IFF 1975, Oscar Award Nomination 1976); - Człowiek z marmuru (Man of Marble) 1977 (FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes IFF 1978, Jury Special Prize, Cartagena IFF 1980); - Bez znieczulenia (Without Anesthesia) 1978 (OCIC Prize, Cannes IFF 1979); - Panny z Wilka (The Maids of Wilko) 1979 (Oscar Award Nomination 1980); - Dyrygent (The Conductor) 1980; - Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron) 1981 (Palme d`or - Golden Palm Cannes IFF 1981, Oscar Award Nomination 1982); - Danton 1982 (Prix Luis Delluc 1982) ; - Eine Liebe in Deutchland (A Love
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