A Generation

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Year Released: 1955
Rating: 1.5

Wajda's first film, and also the first of his early WWII trilogy, is probably the weakest of the three: a naive apprentice to a handy man (Tadeusz Lomnicki) learns about the wonders and magic of Karl Marx from both a co-worker and a proud, steadfast young woman, who is given to staring off into the distance and imagining a world of peace and harmony. It's flawed, of course, in viewing Communism as any kind of alternative to Fascism - a lesson Poland would learn the hard way - but it also fails to create any kind of memorable figures: sure, there's Roman Polanski running around (very young and very skinny) in a supporting role, but when the most distinctive figure in this is the worker who supports old Marx (and he's only in this briefly), there's something wrong at the script-level. Wajda does, on the positive side, show an alarming command of the camera with this, his first feature length, which would aid him tremendously for the rest of his career.