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Andrzej Munk

Andrzej Munk (October 16, 1921–September 20, 1961) was a Polish film director, screenplay writer and camera operator and was one of the most influential artists of the Polish Film School.

Andrzej Munk was born in Kraków. Shortly before the World War II (in June 1939), he finished his gymnasium. During the German occupation of Poland he moved to Warsaw, where he was forced to hide because of his partially Jewish ancestry. Using a false name, he worked as a construction worker. In 1944 Munk took part in the Warsaw Uprising. After the capitulation, he managed to leave the city and move to Kraków and then to Kasprowy Wierch, where he started working as a janitor at the rope-way station.

After the war ended, Munk returned to Warsaw. He joined the reopened Faculty of Architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology. Because of poor health he left the university and later studied law at the Warsaw University. Finally he moved to Lódz, where he joined the Lódz Film and Theatre School. He graduated in 1951 and started working as a cameraman for the Polska Kronika Filmowa (Polish Film Chronicle). In this period Munk finished several short films and documents. In 1948 he joined the PZPR, but in 1952 was expelled for blameworthy behaviour.

In 1956 he finished Man on the Tracks (Czlowiek na torze), one of the most important Polish films of the 1950's. The following year he started giving lectures at his alma mater. In 1957 he finished Heroism (Eroica), a set of two film novels on the Polish idea of heroism and virtue. In 1960 Munk finished his third film, Bad Luck (Zezowate szczescie), a tragicomical story of a Polish everyman who always finds himself in the wrong place and in the wrong time.

Andrzej Munk died in a car accident near Lowicz on September 20, 1961, while on his way home from Auschwitz concentration camp where he was finishing his last film, Passenger (Pasazerka).

Since 1965 the Lódz Film School awards the best debutant with the Andrzej Munk Film Award. During the 2001 Biennale di Venezia a retrospective festival of his films was organized in Venice.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Andrzej Munk Facts

OccupationDirector, Screenwriter
BirthdayOctober 16, 1921
BirthplaceKrakow, Poland
Date of deathSeptember 20, 1961 (age 39)

Selected Filmography

The Passenger
The Andrzej Munk Trilogy: Eroica/Bad Luck/Man on the Tracks
Polish Cinema Classics
Bad Luck
Cz?‚owiek na torze
Polskie Kino Psychologiczne: Pasa??erka, Prawo i pię?›Ä‡, Sam po?›r??d miasta
Klasyka Kina Polskiego: Baza ludzi umar?‚ych / Hubal / Karate po polsku / Ostatni prom / Pasa??erka / Pokolenie / Prawo i pię?›Ä‡ / Spok??j
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