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Andrzej Wajda, Academy Award–Winning Icon of Polish Cinema, Dies at 90

The influential filmmaker won the Palme d'Or and an honorary Oscar, among many other accolades.

Andrzej Wajda receives the Alfred Bauer Award at the 59th Berlinale

Norbert Kesten/REX/Shutterstock

Andrzej Wajda, an enormously influential icon of Polish cinema who received an honorary Academy Award in 2000, has died at the age of 90. According to fellow filmmaker Jacek Bromski, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, Wajda was recently hospitalized and passed away earlier today.

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Best known for his war trilogy of “A Generation,” “Kanal” and especially “Ashes and Diamonds,” he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film on four occasions over the course of more than 30 years: “The Promised Land,” “The Maids of Wilko,” “Man of Iron” and “Katyń”; “Man of Iron” won the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or. His most recent film, “Afterimage,” screened in Toronto and was selected as Poland’s Oscar submission; though not intended as such, it serves as the swan song of a nonpareil career that lasted more than six decades.

READ MORE: Polish Director Wajda Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at Berlin

“I’m touched by the respect and confidence in my recent work the Polish committee has shown by choosing it to represent Poland in the Oscar run,” Wajda told THR just weeks ago. “The film is universal and deeply significant for all of us now, who worry about the development of political events in many corners oft he world. It is of crucial importance to remember about the sorrowful past in order to not repeat it in the future.”

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