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Lech Walesa, a Portrait
Running Time: 55 minutes
Language: Polish with English subtitles
Venue: Tiburon Library [1501 Tiburon Boulevard]
Cast: Lech Walesa
Showtime: Thursday, July 12, 2018 @ 06:30 PM
Director: Andrzej Fidyk
Description: [Screening @ Tiburon Film Society]
Lech Walesa stayed close to his country roots, even throughout his rise to power. Those roots lay at the heart of his enormous success but were also the source of the criticism from his opponents. He managed to combine the sober voice of reason, which elevated him above the rest, with a frankness that beggared belief. When Lech Walesa became a strike leader in the shipyards of Gdansk, Poland in 1980, ten million people soon joined him. This paved the way to the first peaceful overthrow of a Communist regime. The young electrician made history. Over the course of his career, Lech Walesa withstood it all – from adoration to humiliation and hatred. He was known for his sharp judgments and his apt and often witty one-liners. He knew how to work a crowd, and when to use a joke, an argument, some pathos, or a lie. And the masses followed him as if hypnotized.
The intention for "Lech Walesa, a portrait" is simply to help him to make a documentary on himself, which as former President admits: "is not an easy thing to accomplish".
About Lech Walesa
Lech Wałęsa, (born September 29, 1943, Popowo, near Włocławek, Poland), a labor activist who helped form and led (1980–90) communist Poland’s first independent trade union, Solidarity. The charismatic leader of millions of Polish workers, he went on to become the president of Poland (1990–95). He received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1983. While working at the Lenin Shipyard (now Gdańsk Shipyard), Wałęsa, an electrician, became a trade-union activist, for which he was persecuted by the Communist authorities, placed under surveillance, fired in 1976, and arrested several times.
In August 1980 he was instrumental in political negotiations that led to the ground-breaking Gdańsk Agreement between striking workers and the government. He co-founded the Solidarity trade-union movement. In the Polish general election of 1990, Wałęsa successfully ran for the newly re-established office of President of Poland. He presided over Poland's transition from communism to a post-communist state, but his popularity waned and his role in Polish politics diminished after he narrowly lost the 1995 presidential election. Since the fall of Communism in Poland, there have been allegations that Wałęsa had collaborated with the earlier communist secret police. In 2017 a lengthy investigation by the Institute of National Remembrance concluded that a handwriting study proved the authenticity of documents that Wałęsa had agreed to collaborate with the communist secret police.
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