Lech Walesa biographical film
The director Andrzej Wajd who won a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2000 has just started filming a biographical film about Lech Walesa, the former Polish President and 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner who launched the Solidarity Union that helped end communism in Eastern Europe.
The film is intended to cover quite a period of his life, from the street protests by workers in 1970 through to his speech to US Congress he made in 1989 after communism in Poland had come to an end and before he became President of Poland.
Actually you would think that the film, simply titled Walesa, would end with him becoming President, or perhaps covering some of the time he spent changing the country, although that does feel like it could be another film in itself.
"I don't want to but I have to..."
According to the director Lech Walesa has given his blessing for the film but despite that it would be the most difficult film he's made in his entire life. He also revealed that the film would use documentary footage to help tell his story, and that Robert Wieckiewicz is the man who has been chosen to play Walesa.
Screenwriter Janusz Glowacki also said that he wanted to write the script to show the more human side of Walesa, something that is hard to focus on when the man has achieved so much for so many.
Walesa was a mere electrician without a higher education who was working at the Gdansk shipyards, a name that should ring a bell to those that remember the struggle he fought for. There he became a trade union activist and was persecuted by the Polish Communist Government and arrested a number of times. Despite being fired in 1976 he went onto negotiate the Gdansk Agreement between the striking workers and the Government and soon formed the Solidarity trade-union movement.
It was soon after martial law was imposed and the movement outlawed by the Government that he was arrested again, however as soon as he was released he began fighting for his cause once again. According to the Wikipedia article he was prominent in the negotiations that led to the 1989 Round Table Agreement and the parliamentary elections in June of 1989 which lead to the Solidarity led Government which he then ran for in 1990 and became President of Poland, playing the prime role in the move of Poland from Communism until his term ended in 1995.
His is a pivotal role in Polish history, but also in the history of Europe and I certainly know his name and his key role in Poland and East European history from his deeds and the worldwide news coverage.
It could make for a film that sees success far outside the borders of the country.