Man Of Marble

Made in 1976, Man of Marble tells the story of fictional heroic Polish bricklayer Mateusz Birkut, and the young female film student, Agnieszka, trying to make a film about his fall from grace.

Using a mixture of original documentary footage from the construction of Nowa Huta and other subjects of Poland’s early communist era, as well as the propagandist/inspirational music of Stalinist Poland, Man of Marble is quite daring in its deconstruction of these period films, which Wajda uses to show Agnieszka trying and failing to get the ‘truth’ of Birkut and what he stood for before and after his demise.

Touching on late 20th century Polish history, the film (for reasons of censorship) skates around Birkut’s death, but it was a story that Wajda returned to in 1981 with Man of Iron, which depicts Birkut’s son Maciej’s subsequent involvement in the Polish anti-Communist workers’ movement and the death of his father in the shipyard battles in the 70s.

Released on DVD by Second Run


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