Place of Birth & Education
Was born in Suwalki. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, but without completing the course, he entered the directing department of the Lodz Film School, from which he graduated in 1954.
During his studies, Andrzej Wajda worked as a second director on the set of the film “Five from Barskaya Street” directed by A. Ford. After graduating from film school, he made his debut with the film Generation, which marked the beginning of the Polish film school.
Wide recognition for Weida came after the film “Canal” (1956), which won several awards, including a special prize at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival. One of Andrzej Wajda’s best works of that period is considered to be the film Ashes and Diamonds, based on the novel of the same name by Jerzy Andrzejewski and telling about the tragedy of young underground workers.
Later, the director touched upon the theme of the war in the films Letna, Samson, Landscape after the Battle, Korczak, Finger with an Eagle in a Crown, and Holy Week. In addition, Andrzej Wajda shot lyric films and satirical comedies (“The Young Ladies from Vilko”, “Bereznyak”, “The Promised Land”, “Innocent Sorcerers”, “Hunt for Flies”).
A prominent place in the director’s work is occupied by film adaptations of literary classics: both Polish and world – “Wedding”, “Siberian Lady Macbeth”, “Demons”, “Pilate and others.”
A noticeable social and political resonance, and not only in Poland, was caused by Wajda’s work in the late 1970s – early 1980s, when he made the films The Man of Marble, Without Anesthesia, The Man of Iron, Danton “.
In addition to cinema, Andrzej Wajda has worked in the theater since the late 1950s. Among the performances he staged are several versions of Hamlet, Demons and Crime and Punishment (after Fyodor Dostoevsky).
In 1999, the director staged the historical film Pan Tadeusz, which tells about Poland during the Napoleonic wars.
In 2007 he shot the feature film “Katyn”. This is the first Polish film that tells about one of the tragic pages of the history of Poland. In the spring of 1940, in the forest near the village of Katyn, in the Smolensk region (Russia), the NKVD officers shot about 22 thousand Polish officers of war, among whom was Andrzej Wajda’s father. The main characters of the film are women waiting for their disappeared husbands, sons, brothers. The film is based on the book “Post Mortem. Katyn Story” by Polish writer Andrzej Mularczyk. In 2008, the film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.
In 1972-1983 Andrzej Wajda is the artistic director of the “X” film association.
1978-1982 – Chairman of the Union of Cinematographers of the People’s Republic of Poland.
In 1989-1991. – Senator of the Polish Seim.
Laureate of the State Prize of the People’s Republic of Poland (1974), prizes from the Ministry of Culture of Poland (1971, 1998), the Luigi Pirandello Theater Prize (1987), Felix (1990), the Golden Lion in Venice (1998) and an honorary Oscar for merit in the cinema at the 2000 ceremony. Member of the British Film Academy (since 1982), the European Film Academy (since 1988), the French Academy of Fine Arts (since 1997). Andrzej Wajda was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Washington and Jagiellonian Universities.
In April 2008, President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko awarded Andrzej Wajda the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, V degree – “for his outstanding personal contribution to the development of Ukrainian-Polish cultural cooperation, many years of fruitful creative activity in the field of affirming the ideals of humanism in cinema.”
In those days, Andrzej Wajda just arrived in Ukraine to present the film “Katyn” as part of the Days of Polish Cinema in Ukraine. The president and his wife, Yekaterina Yushchenko, also attended the premiere screening of the film.
Andrzej Wajda was married four times: The first wife is the artist Gabriela Obremba. They met while studying at the Krakow Academy of Arts, the marriage was concluded in 1949, divorce in 1959.
The second wife is the artist Zofia Zhukhovskaya, a graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Arts, the marriage was concluded on December 19, 1959, the divorce was formalized on March 14, 1967.
The third wife is actress Beata Tyszkiewicz. We met on the set of the film “Samson” in 1961. They started dating in 1965. She gave birth to a daughter from Vaida two weeks after his divorce from Zhukhovskoy. The marriage was concluded in 1967. The divorce was filed on October 29, 1969.
Daughter: Caroline Wajda is an actress. Filmed rarely. He lives in the Glukhy estate donated by his father and is engaged in animal husbandry. She inherited the rights to her father’s work. She was married twice – the first husband is Artur Novakovsky (journalist, divorce), the second husband is an American of Polish origin Paul Montana, with whom she opened a restaurant and a nightclub (divorce). No kids.
The fourth wife is theater artist and actress Christina Zakhvatovich. We met at the Old Theater in Krakow. The marriage was concluded in January 1972. They lived together for 44 years (1972-2016), until the death of Waida.
He died on October 9, 2016 in Warsaw after a short illness.