Oscar-winning Polish film director Andrzej Wajda has died at the age of 90.
His death was confirmed by the Polish Filmmakers’ Association. According to unconfirmed reports, the filmmaker died in hospital of lung failure yesterday.
Wajda made over 40 feature films, many of which draw on Poland’s turbulent history. Among his most famous work are Kanał (1956), Katyń (2007) and Man of Iron (1981), which won the Palme d’Or at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. In 2000, Wajda received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement, while his latest film Afterimage (2016) was recently chosen as Poland’s official entry for best foreign language film at the 2017 Oscars. Four of the director’s earlier works also secured nomination in that category in past years.
Born in 1926, Wajda faced scrutiny from Poland’s communist regime, and was only able to freely work on films about Poland’s wartime history after the collapse of communism in the country in 1989.
In response to the filmmaker’s death, former Polish prime minister and current head of the European Council, Donald Tusk, tweeted: “We all stem from Wajda. We looked at Poland and at ourselves through him. And we understood better. Now it will be more difficult.”