Following the death yesterday of Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, the European industry is mourning the loss of the Palme d’Or and Honorary Oscar winner. Fellow Polish filmmaker and Oscar-winning Ida helmer Pawel Pawlikowski shared this statement about Wajda with Deadline: “He made some immortal films and was a point of reference for all, as an artist, as a man and as a patriot in the right sense of the word. The void he leaves behind will be all the more acutely felt in the dark times our country is facing again.”
The director of more than 50 films, four of which were nominated in the Foreign Language Academy Award race, Wajda was a notable supporter of former Polish president Lech Walesa. who today told AFP: “A great character, a great Pole, a great patriot and a great director has passed into eternity. … We’re going to see one another soon; I’ve already packed my bags.” Walesa appeared in Wajda’s 1981 Palme d’Or winner Man of Iron.
The Cannes Film Festival for its part tweeted: “Adieu to Andrzej Wajda, master of Polish cinema…”
— Festival de Cannes (@Festival_Cannes) October 10, 2016
Dieter Kosslick, director of the Berlin Film Festival, where Wajda won a Silver Bear for Holy Week in 1996 and an Honorary Golden Bear in 2006, said today: “The film world has lost a great artist who consistently renewed the cinematic arts, even in his advanced years. A committed filmmaker, he grappled with the history of his native country and always made his stance clear. Andrzej Wajda shaped Polish cinema, and enriched the film landscape as a whole.”
Edgar Wright also sent his thoughts:
RIP the great Polish director Andrzej Wajda. His trilogy of 50’s war movies: ‘A Generation’, ‘Kanał’ and ‘Ashes and Diamonds’ are stunning.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) October 9, 2016
Wajda received his honorary Oscar in 2002. His latest film, Afterimage, has been selected by Poland as its entry for the Foreign Language category this year.