Synopsis by Tom Wiener
Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda's sequel to his immensely well-received Man of Marble covers some of the same ground: the relationship of labor leaders to their communist political masters and the difficulties the media encounters in covering that story. But it adds an exceptionally timely element: footage from the real-life Solidarity movement strikes led by Lech Walesa that were taking place during the film's production are woven into the dramatic story. There are a few glimpses of Walesa, and he even pops up as a guest at the wedding of the fictional story's hero. That man, Tomczyk, is the son of Birkut, the labor leader profiled in Man of Marble, and he's played by the actor Jerzy Radziwilowicz, who played Birkut in the first film. In Man of Marble, a student filmmaker in late 1970s Poland tried to uncover the story of Birkut, a working-class hero of the '50s who was later politically discredited and killed in a 1970 strike demonstration. Here, Winkiel (Marian Opania), an alcoholic radio journalist, is assigned by the state to cover the rise to prominence of Tomczyk, but with an eye to discrediting him and the Solidarity movement as well. Like The Godfather II, Man of Iron successfully expands on the story of its predecessor while provocatively exploring many of the same issues.
against-all-odds, fidelity, government, harassment, history, leader, movement [action], Polish [nationality], reform [improve], reporter, revolution, solidarity, striker, student, war