Polish Film Festival: Ashes and Diamonds

film reelA Polish Film Festival series kicks off with the film “Ashes and Diamonds” at 4 p.m. Friday, March 21, at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. The film will be viewed and reviewed with radio announcer Dan Kane.

This 1958 Polish film, directed by Andrzej Wajda, and based on a 1948 novel by Polish writer Jerzy Andrzejewski, completed Wajda’s war films trilogy. The plot skillfully blends the fate of a nation with that of one man, resulting in what many consider to be one of the most important Polish films of all time.

On the last day of World War II in a small Polish town, Home Army soldier Maciek Chelmicki is ordered to assassinate Communist district leader Commissar Szczuka.

Chelmicki is a young Resistance fighter who had no problem killing, but he fails his first attempt on Szczuka. His mistake leads him and his partner to a hotel where they plan to wait for a second chance at their target.

It is there that Chelmicki is drawn to the hotel barmaid, Krystyna. As his crush on her grows, she opens his eyes to a different version of what his life could be.

With the time to kill Szczuka approaching, Chelmicki finds himself in love with Krystyna and wishing to lead a normal life.

The movie title, taken from a 19th century poem, references the manner in which diamonds are formed from heat and pressure acting upon coal. The film ranked number 38 in Empire magazine’s “The 100 Best Films of World Cinema” in 2010, and director Martin Scorsese has called it one of his favorite films of all time.

Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior housing in the form of independent living. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040.