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For years he was considered “the king of Polish cinematography”.  He could not accept the end of his career

For years he was considered “the king of Polish cinematography”. He could not accept the end of his career

For years, Aleksander Ford was called “the king of Polish cinematography”. Produced with an unprecedented scale for those times, “Krzy¿acy” is the most popular Polish film to this day. After March ’68, he emigrated from Poland and his career faded away. He never accepted the end of his career.

Aleksander Ford, or rather Mosze Lifszyc, was probably born in 1908. By his own admission, he changed his name to honor the American John Ford. In his youth, after the death of his father, he worked in a Łódź factory. However, he dreamed of a film career, so in the mid-1920s he left for Warsaw. He worked in a camera shop and as an editor in the Polish Telegraphic Agency. The first film was the short “In the morning” from 1929. In 1930, the movie “Mascot” premiered. Before the war, Ford mainly made social productions showing life in Warsaw. The war interrupted his career. At the end, he made the film “Majdanek – the Cemetery of Europe”, showing the horror of extermination in a concentration camp. In 1945, in Berlin, together with Major Jerzy Bosak, as part of looting, they confiscated film equipment worth $2 million, which they transported to Łódź.

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The beginnings of his career after the war and rivalry with Andrzej Wajda. The “eighth day of the week” did not appeal to the authorities

After the end of World War II, for some time he headed the State Enterprise “Film Polski”. He was a lecturer at the Łódź Film School, and his students included, among others, Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski. In the 1950s, he realized i.a. Fryderyk Chopin’s biography, Five from Barska Street, he also made a film based on a story by Marek Hłasko. Ford was to convince the writer to sell the rights to him, only to prevent the film from being made by Wajda, who became a rival for the director. The production, however, did not appeal to the authorities and was placed on the censor’s shelf for over 20 years. Hłasko himself is also critical of the film “The Eighth Day of the Week”.

In this story, which unfortunately did not work out for me, and whose idea I liked, I had one thing in mind: a girl who sees the dirt and ugliness of everything wants only one thing for herself and the boy she loves: a beautiful beginning of their love. Ford made a movie about people having nowhere to fuck, which of course is not true, you can fuck anywhere

“Krzyżacy” is still the most popular Polish film. It is also Ford’s last great work

The biggest hit and at the same time a breakthrough in Ford’s career was “”. The “King of Polish cinematography” made a film with unprecedented momentum. The budget was PLN 33 million, a thousand extras appeared on the set, and 18 thousand costumes were prepared. “Krzyżacy” is the most watched Polish production to this day. By 1987, it was seen by 32 million viewers. It was also Ford’s last great work.

Leaving Poland, no success and depression. Alexander Ford died in a hotel room

In 1968, on the wave of anti-Semitic sentiment and the consequences of March ’68, Ford applied for emigration. A year later, together with his family, second wife, Eleanor Griswold, and children, he finally left Poland. They met in the 50s, when the American actress was associated with Zygmunt Kałużyński. Ford seduced Griswold, who eventually became his wife. They left for Israel, then Germany, Austria, and finally settled in Denmark. The director tried to develop his career abroad, but he was unsuccessful. He fell into depression. After his first failed suicide attempt, he spent several weeks in a coma. He has not returned to work. Eleanor finally packed her bags and left for the United States with the children. In 1980, he received divorce papers from her. He came to the US to try to communicate with his wife. On April 4, 1980, after meeting the children, he returned to the hotel and hanged himself from the chandelier.

If your life is at risk due to suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide, for immediate crisis intervention, call the police on 112 or go to the A&E department of your local psychiatric hospital.

If you need to talk to a psychologist, you can use the number 116 123. On the website you will also find a list of organizations that run telephone services for mental health specialists, help for children and youth or victims of violence.

Source: Gazeta

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