Open main menu

A Generation (Polish: Pokolenie) is a 1955 Polish film directed by Andrzej Wajda. It is based on the novel Pokolenie by Bohdan Czeszko, who also wrote the script. It was Wajda's first film and the opening installment of what became his Three War Films trilogy set in the Second World War, completed by Kanal and Ashes and Diamonds.

A Generation
A generation.jpg
Directed byAndrzej Wajda
Written byBohdan Czeszko
StarringTadeusz Łomnicki
Urszula Modrzyńska
Roman Polanski
Release date
  • 25 January 1955 (1955-01-25)
Running time
83 minutes


A Generation is set in Wola, a working-class section of Warsaw, in 1942 and tells the stories of two young men at odds with the Germans occupation of Poland. The young protagonist, Stach (Tadeusz Łomnicki), is living in squalor on the outskirts of the city and carrying out wayward acts of theft and rebellion. After a friend is killed attempting to heist coal from a German supply train, he finds work as an apprentice at a furniture workshop, where he becomes involved in an underground communist resistance cell guided first by a friendly journeyman there who in turn introduces Stach to the beautiful Dorota (Urszula Modrzyńska). An outsider, Jasio Krone (Tadeusz Janczar), the temperamental son of an elderly veteran, is initially reluctant to join the struggle but finally commits himself, running relief operations in the Jewish ghetto during the uprising there.



Because at the time it wasn't possible to adapt machine guns to shoot blanks, all shots of automatic weapons were done with live ammunition shot into sandbags off screen.[1]

The film featured the first documented use of squibs to simulate bullet impacts in movies. For the first time, audiences were presented with a realistic representation of a bullet impacting on an on-camera human being, complete with blood spatter. The creator of the effect, Kazimierz Kutz, used a condom with fake blood and dynamite. [2]


A box set of the Three War Films was released by The Criterion Collection. A Generation includes an exclusive interview with the director and film critic Jerzy Płażewski, Wajda's 1951 film school short Ceramics from Iłża (Ceramika Iłżecka), production photos, publicity stills, posters, and original artwork by the director and an essay by film scholar Ewa Mazierska.


  1. ^ On Becoming a Filmmaker interview with Andrzej Wajda included with Criterion release of A Generation
  2. ^ J.Sz., Gazeta Wyborcza, 2008

External linksEdit