A contemporary of Andrzej Wajda, filmmaker Andrzej Munk, who may well have gained an equally international reputation had he not died in an automobile wreck in 1961, was a key figure in Polish New Wave cinema, noted for his intelligent and ironic views of life in modern Poland. Born in Cracow, Munk was a freedom fighter in the Polish underground during WWII. Following the war, he attended a Warsaw university where he took classes in architecture, law, and economics. Finding none of those subjects satisfactory, he dropped out and began attending film school in Lodz where he trained to become a cinematographer and a director. Shortly after his 1950 graduation, Munk made a series of well-regarded documentaries which he innovatively scored only with natural sounds. Munk began directing feature films in 1956 and quickly established a reputation for fearlessly taking sharp, satiric pokes at the bureaucratic Communist regime, particularly in regards to the notion of military valor. His fatal accident occurred while he was filming Passenger, a work that was finished by his friends and released in 1963.