David Harsent presents Ashes and Diamonds

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‘When you watch Ashes And Diamonds, remember, you're not just seeing a film: you're looking at a manifesto that has found a voice and a face and speaks for a whole deceived generation.’ – Alexander Walker

Marking publication of his latest collection Loss, T.S. Eliot, Forward and Griffin prizewinning poet David Harsent is in conversation with Gareth Evans about one of the most important films in European cinema, a Polish masterpiece.

‘The last of Wajda's unplanned trilogy about the legacy of World War II on his generation, following A Generation (1954) and Kanal (1956), Ashes and Diamonds is also the most flamboyant, and features the iconic figure of Cybulski, frequently cited as the 'Polish James Dean', who died in an accident in 1967. The time is the first days of peace, though from Cybulski's dark glasses the mood could be a decade on. He plays a young fighter waiting to assassinate a recently appointed communist official in a small Polish town. But a burgeoning love affair with a hotel barmaid leads him to question the value of this continual struggle.’ – Time Out