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Lech Walesa, the man who founded Poland’s Solidarity movement and went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize and become the country’s first post-communist president, will present a special screening of the director’s cut of Andrzej Wajda‘s tribute to him, Walesa: Man of Hope, in July at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
Actors Robert Wieckiewicz and Agnieszka Grochowska — who play Walesa and his wife Danuta, respectively — will attend a red carpet gala premiere screening of the biopic.
Czech petroleum company Unipetrol, part of fest sponsor Orlen Group, supported the creation of the director’s cut, which was specifically made for the 49th edition of the festival in the Czech Republic.
Walesa, whose struggle for workers’ rights in the shipyards of Gdansk led to the founding of the pro-democracy Solidarity movement, is credited with helping bring down the communist regime in Poland, which also helped lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communist regimes across Eastern Europe.
Imprisoned by Polish authorities after the declaration of martial law in 1981, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 and became the country’s first democratically elected president after the war in 1990, serving until 1995. He remains an active advocate for peace and human rights.
Wajda long planned a biopic on Walesa. In 1981 his film about the rise of Solidarity and the Gdansk shipyard strike, Man of Iron, won the Golden Palm in Cannes.
The 49th edition of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival runs July 4-12.
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