Skip to main content


Yugoslavia, 1962 (MIFF 1964)

Director: Andrzej Wajda

Andrzej Wajda, famed Polish director of the trilogy, A Generation, Kanal and Ashes and Diamonds, was engaged by Avala Films of Belgrade to adapt for the screen the story "Lady Macbeth of Mtensk" by the Russian nineteenth-century writer, Leskov. Wajda tells, with great simplicity and considerable power, of a Lady Macbeth who kills not for ambition but for love. Married to a merchant much older than herself, bored with life in a primitive provincial town, Lady Macbeth of Mtensk proves an easy match for an ambitious young clerk. Exalted by her love, she sweeps away all ob­stacles — her husband, her father-in-law, even a child. Wajda succeeds in establishing both a sense of period and place. The wide screen is filled with magnificently composed pictures; massive timbered rooms, florid ex­teriors, icons, samovars — these, and the raging dust of the steppes, provide the setting in which the heroine ranges, consumed by boredom and frustration. As the story proceeds, Wajda sustains the imagery, climaxing in the splendid extravagant scene in which the damned pair go for a hysterical hay-ride through the fields. The whole concept is of a film produced in the grand Slav, almost operatic, manner and quite unlike anything we have seen from this director before.

See also...


“A small gemstone that glistens in the memory long after the lights come up.” - Hollywood Reporter ... The story of a middle-aged woman finding sexual reawakening with a young man after losing ... More »


For close to three decades it seems that no film festival has been complete without a new film by Andrzej Wajda, Poland's greatest director and a film-maker with a seemingly inexhaustible capacity to ... More »


Andrzej Wajda, who earlier made Ashes and Diamonds, has turned for his latest film to a Polish play by Stanislaw Wyspianski. The Wedding reconstructs a marriage which in fact took place in 1900 at ... More »


It is 1976, Agnieszka, a student of the Polish Film Academy, preparing to make her first TV documentary, chooses for its subject the famous bricklaying shockworker of the Fifties, Birkut. He was a ... More »


Andrzej Wajda's latest film, a French and Polish co-production, is based on a Polish play of the 1930s by Stanislawa Przybyszewska,' 'The Danton Affair'', which attempts to dramatise the emotional ... More »


A monument to one of the darkest secrets of the Soviet era. ... For filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, painful events from his own past have been resurrected in Katyn. The film dramatises one of the last major ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director