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Criterion Collection: Andrzej Wajda - Three War [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews from Amazon.com

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed all 3 films though to varying degrees 17 Jan. 2015
By 70's teen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I enjoyed all 3 films though to varying degrees. They run in sequence from early in the war to mid-war to post-war. Ashes and Diamonds is interesting but somewhat erratic in pace and hard to follow in places. I'd give it 3 stars. It deals with the former resistance members struggle against the new communist government via assassination attempts. I liked A Generation more - it dealt with the Polish resistance in the early days of Nazi occupation, and had more action, plus characters that were easier to identify with, and a strong, though not extraordinary, plot. A solid 3.5 stars.

Kanal - the middle film, which deals with the final days of the Warsaw uprising - is damn good: tight, suspenseful, unpredictable, with final scenes that are hard to forget. You really experience the setting and emotions with the characters. 4.5 stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars People / War / Life 8 Jan. 2012
By C McGhee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A GENERATION-

written, produced & directed by Andrzej Wadja it is the first war movie in what has become known as his war trilogy. It is a film covering Warsaw through the uprising in the Ghetto of Warsaw. This isn't based primarily on the Nazi actions of that time but is rather a straight forward look at what life was like for the populace, working by day in German held companies & resisting by night. It doesn't take a strong stomach to watch this & I believe that is by design.

Focused mainly on the daily hardships of being Polish in Poland during the occupation & the common tragedies suffered by all around Warsaw it is an entirely different condemnation of war & its effects on a local population. The next movie called KANAL focuses on the general uprising outside of the Ghetto in Warsaw. In A GENERATION you get an introduction to the Polish resistance & the Communist resistance efforts. The trilogy is finished by ASHES & DIAMONDS which covers the end of WWII.

A truly significant effort to portray Poland in WW-II & heartily recommended unless you must have high adrenaline action. This isn't anyone's propaganda. It's not propaganda at all. History on film as much as a fictional movie can be & recognized as the foundation of the Polish New Cinema School. It is a condemnation of war & its effects.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polish cinema? Yes! 23 April 2012
By Douglas G. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You can find synopses for these films on the internet, so I will go straight to the heart of Andrzej Wadja's war trilogy: You will rarely watch such gritty, heart-wrenching films in your life, nor will you ever care so much for the people whose struggles to rid themselves of a Nazi occupation resulted in another 45 years of Soviet domination. Life isn't fair, of course, but rarely is it so perverse! The films take place in 1942, 1944, and 1946. They, the films and the events shown, remind me of the adage: "The wheels of fate grind slowly but exceedingly fine." For those of us who lived in the West during the WWII and the Cold War, this trilogy brings out how easy we had it by comparison with the Poles. What struck me most about the films, made in the 1950s, was how closely they held depiction of the human condition and eskewed the ideology of the moment. Yeah, there are small nods to Communists as "nice guys", but there is context and political realities the director had to balance out to tell these remarkable timeless tales of Poland's struggle to exist as a people and a country. What are heroes but ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances they have hope they somehow will survive? The trilogy is about such people.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see, these are truly great films 4 Nov. 2007
By Joel W. Barnett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Rather than review each of the three films included here, let me say something about them as a whole, and they are packaged together for a reason.

The three movies, "A Generation", "Kanal, and "Ashes and Diamonds" focus on young people involved in the Polish resistance, in the first two movies to the Germans, in the last to the Soviets. In all of them our heroes and heroines fail. They are dealing with events far bigger than them, but they must do something.

The Poles did their best, but were overwhelmed, militarily. The resistance faced enormous odds. These movies are very powerful accounts of the resistance, including heroines as well as heroes, esp. in the first two. The first two movies deal with the uprsising in Warsaw, from diffent perspectives.

I like "Ashes and Diamonds" the best of the three. It's the last day of the war, 1945, a commisar of the USSR is coming to town to take over. Our young hero's job: Kill him. While our hero waits, he falls in love with a local girl. She wants him to abandon the job and go away with her and be happy. He agrees with the going away part, but feels the need to carry out his job first. As good movie goers, we know how that is likely to end.

"Ashes and Diamonds" is an interesting take on the traditional American rural gangster movie, e.g., "High Sierra", "You Only Live Once", "They Live by Night", etc. Wajda's approach is more overtly intellectual, and also more passionate, as he is filming a story of his countrie's history which he lived, a history which included his fathers murder by the Germans at Katyn.

Wajda is, in my opinion, the greatest living movie director, not perfect by any means, but at his best, he can't be beat. These three films are worthy of your attention.
5.0 out of 5 stars It was even happier for me that I could find the rest of ... 10 Sept. 2015
By linguist - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have been looking for a copy of Popioi i Diament for ages. It was even happier for me that I could find the rest of the trilogy at a reasonable price. My only gripe goes to the translator - not to the dealer. The film Kanalami should've been translated "Sewers" rather
than "Canals", not only are there no canals in Warszawa, but it really belittles the entire struggle of the Uprising. Other than that, I am absolutely thrilled with finally having a copy of three of my favorite films. Thank you.
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