Afterimage, the Under-Seen Final Work by Great Polish Filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, Comes to the Cary Theater | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Afterimage, the Under-Seen Final Work by Great Polish Filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, Comes to the Cary Theater 

As the final work of renowned Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, who died last October, Afterimage has a deathly tone that's doubly apt. It chronicles the slow, gray erasure of Polish avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski, played by Boguslaw Linda. We follow the one-armed, one-legged painter as he hobbles around, bearing his silent rejection of new government stipulations that art must bear witness to positive socialist development in Poland after World War II.

Wajda captures a troubled artist who, even at the end of his life, is unwilling to sacrifice his ethic—that artists must be true to themselves and create—for work. The Polish government hands him ultimatums; he responds by walking out of the room. Gradually, he's fired, expelled from the artists' association, and reduced to a social leper.

Strzeminski is followed by a pack of students who feed off his brief bouts of wisdom, as if his life experience were providing theirs, yet his stoicism stings his teenage daughter. Whether he is infinitely patient or utterly defeated isn't clear. But desipte the trials of social reform and poverty, he paints on until he's completely stripped of the means to do so.

Wajda makes no proud claims. He only asks questions: What is art? What are its limitations? How should it contribute to culture, and what is the role of the artist's autonomy? It's bold to put philosophical words in the mouth of a famed artist and to create a film that lacks the pretenses of fiction. It's surprising that Wajda's final film hasn't been more widely seen. But, as Strzeminski says, "They praise the ones who suck up. They're silent about the real artists." —Luke Hicks

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

My wife is super hyped up over this movie. We're going to see it saturday. Having married a Korean american, …

by Timothy Oswald on On the Upside, Crazy Rich Asians Is a Genuine Cultural Milestone. On the Downside, It's ... Not That Good? (Film Review)

I love this film, and we just did a podcast about it! We explore age-related cognitive impairment, alcoholism, rural midwestern …

by Scott Wickman on Nebraska is maddeningly dead-on (Film Review)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

My wife is super hyped up over this movie. We're going to see it saturday. Having married a Korean american, …

by Timothy Oswald on On the Upside, Crazy Rich Asians Is a Genuine Cultural Milestone. On the Downside, It's ... Not That Good? (Film Review)

I love this film, and we just did a podcast about it! We explore age-related cognitive impairment, alcoholism, rural midwestern …

by Scott Wickman on Nebraska is maddeningly dead-on (Film Review)

Good movie. That showed a career service member can be sold out by BS politicians

by Darin Thigpen Sr on Only military guys can understand (Film Review)

It is a very good film.I really liked it.The film is visual treat to the audience.Suraj Sharma nailed the role …

by Fermin Johnson on Life of Pi is a touching fable (Film Review)

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation