Ashes and Diamonds

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Ashesand Diamonds

  1. Discuss how Maciek (the main character) and Szezuka (the man Maciek is supposed to kill represent opposing sides in the struggle for postwar Poland?

Thestruggle in postwar Poland as depicted in Ashesand Diamonds isembodied in the contrasts between Maciek, the main character, andSzczuka, the defender of communism. The latter represents a sectionof the Polish society that had fully embraced soviet communistideologies after it seized power in the country after the defeat ofNazism. Szczuka believes the soviet’s communist regime will changelives of the Polish paper after it had been destroyed by Nazis. Interestingly, Szczukacomes out as the patriot that had aconviction to have his country adopt an idea he believed in. Maciekrepresents members of the Polish society that were opposed to theidea of communism that had been introduced by the Soviets. Hebecomes a hired gunman tasked to assassinate his countrymen that weresympathetic to communism.

  1. What does the main film seem to be saying about people like Drewnowski (the one who gets drunk and ruins the banquet) and his motivation in working for both sides in the conflict?

Drewnowskiis a symbol of the turmoil that befell Poland after WWII. Manycitizens were not sure which side to believe between communistsoviets and those who advocated for capitalism. Drewnowski works forboth sides so that he stands to benefit from either side when thepost-war misery finally comes to an end. He knows that one side willtake over the country and he has to be hired for a job in government.

  1. Why does the main character, Maciek, want to change the direction of his life yet ultimately finds it to be impossible?

Uponreflecting on his life Maciek realizes how the anti-communistmovement he is involved in has deprived him of intimacy with girlslike Krystyna. He almost changes his minds, but is implored by othersas a deserter. During the Post-war Polish struggle, it would havebeen dangerous quit his job as an assassin because he would probablybe a victim as well. It is also notable that, Maciek wants to changehis way of life because he has fallen in love with Krystyna and he isplanning to settle down. The thoughts of being a real lover and maybe a husband shortly are making him question his decision to killSzezuka. However, when Maciek tells his senior partner that he doesnot want to accomplish his mission, Andrzej reminds him that he is asolder, and personal affairs cannot hinder such missions. Therefore,Maciek is left with no option but to follow the orders as a solder.

  1. What’s the symbolic about the death of Maciek?

Maciek’sdeath symbolizes the stormy crisis of conscience for the entirePolish nation. The nation had survived the destruction of WWII andyet citizens turned against each other. It is ironical because whatwas thought to a common enemy is gone and yet Poland turns out as thevictim of it all. Itis also important for one to not that, Maciek dies in a trash heapafter getting shot and wounded by the Communist soldiers while tryingto escape. Maciek loses both his chance of starting moral life andlife itself. This kind of a death symbolizes the fate for all thepeople not willing to support the incoming communist regime. Hisdeath on a heap of rubbish eradicates any hope for a nationalrebirth.

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