Ford, Aleksander

(1908-1980)
   The controversial "father" of post-1945 Polish cinema, Ford started his career with a series of documentary films in 1928. His much-praised narrative debut, The Legion of the Street (Legion ulicy, 1932), voted the best film of the year by Kino readers, was one of the first films showing a realistic picture of everyday life coupled with elements of social commentary. The young director was hailed by the leftist press in particular (he was a known Communist) as the most promising Polish director. In 1930 he became the cofounder of START—a dynamic cine club that promoted ambitious, artistic cinema. In 1938 Ford codirected with Jerzy Zarzycki The People of the Vistula (Ludzie Wisły), a film set in the milieu of Jean Vigo's L'Atalante (1934) and also bearing some features of Vigo's masterpiece: glimpses of social conditions, a love story on a river barge, and the life on the shore contrasted with that on the barge.
   Ford survived the war in the Soviet Union where he cocreated the film unit Czołówka (Vanguard) within the Polish Tadeusz Kościuszko First Division, which fought alongside the Red Army. He returned with the Red Army as an officer in the Kościuszko Division and, thanks to his political connections, became the most important person in the postwar Polish film industry. From 1945 to 1947, he was the head of Film Polski, then artistic director of two film units—Blok (1948-1949) and Studio (1955-1968)—and teacher at the Łódź Film School (1948-1968). Ford also produced several acclaimed films. In 1949 he directed Border Street (Ulica graniczna), a film dealing with the wartime predicament of Polish Jews and showing the partitioning of Warsaw by the Germans into Jewish and Aryan quarters. His next film, The Youth of Chopin (Młodość Chopina, 1952), traced five years of the composer's life. Ford's first film in color, Five Boys from Barska Street (Piątka z ulicy Barskiej, 1954), for which he won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival, focused on juvenile delinquency, a theme previously untouched in Polish cinema. For Polish viewers, however, Ford is chiefly known as the maker of the most successful (at the box office) Polish film, the historical epic The Teutonic Knights (Krzyżacy) in 1960.
   The events of 1968 (the anti-Semitic campaign orchestrated by a nationalistic faction of the Communist Party in order to remove some seasoned party and security force members, many of whom were Jewish, from their privileged positions) isolated Ford as both a person of Jewish origin and an activist linked with the group removed from power. As a result, in 1969 Ford migrated from Poland and tried to continue his career in West Germany, Denmark, and the United States. In Germany he directed The First Circle (Den Foerste Kreds, 1971) and Dr. Korczak, the Martyr (Sie Sind Frei, Dr. Korczak, 1974,
   West Germany-Israel). In 1980, at the age of seventy-two, he committed suicide. Details of his eventful life are covered in Stanisław Janicki's documentary Loved and Hated: The Tragedy of Life and Death of the Maker of The Teutonic Knights (Kochany i znienawidzony. Dramat życia i śmierci twórcy Krzyżaków, 2002).
   Other films: Sabra (1933), Eighth Day of the Week (Ósmy dzień tygodnia, 1958, released in 1983), The First Day of Freedom (Pierwszy dzień wolności, 1964).
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ford, Aleksander — (1908 80)    Polish film director. Born in Lodz, he studied at Warsaw Univeristy. His first feature film, Mascot, was made in 1930. At this time he became a co founder of the Society of the Devotees of the Artistic film. His 1932 film The Street… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Aleksander Liwczyc — Aleksander Ford (* 24. November 1908 als Aleksander Liwczyc in Kiew, Ukraine; † 4. April 1980 in Naples, Florida, USA) war ein polnischer Filmregisseur. Ford, der in Warschau studierte, war einer der erfolgreichsten Filmregisseure im Polen der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Aleksander Ford — (November 24, 1908, Kiev, Ukraine – April 4, 1980, Naples, Florida, United States) was a Polish film director. Polish filmmaker Aleksander Ford played a key role in establishing Poland s international reputation for excellent cinema. One of Ford… …   Wikipedia

  • Aleksander Skrzynski — Aleksander Skrzyński, 1925 Aleksander Józef Graf (Hrabia) Skrzyński (* 18. März 1882 in Zagórzany (Galizien); † 25. September 1931 in Ostrów Wielkopolski (Autounfall)) war ein polnischer Politiker und Ministerpräsident …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Aleksander Ford — (* 24. November 1908 als Mosche Liwczyc in Kiew, Russisches Kaiserreich; † 4. April 1980 in Naples, Florida, USA) war ein jüdisch polnischer Filmregisseur.[1][2] Ford, der in Warschau studierte, war einer der erfolgreichsten Filmregisseure im… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Aleksander Ford — est un réalisateur et scénariste polonais, né Mosche Liwczyc, le 24 novembre 1908 à Kiev (aujourd hui Ukraine), mort le 4 avril 1980 à Naples (Floride). Biographie Cette section est vide, insuffisamment détaillée ou incomplète. Votre aide est la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Aleksander Skrzyński — Aleksander Skrzyński, 1925 Aleksander Józef Graf (Hrabia) Skrzyński (* 18. März 1882 in Zagórzany (Galizien); † 25. September 1931 in Ostrów Wielkopolski (Autounfall)) war ein polnischer Politiker und Ministerpräsident …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ford (surname) — Ford is a common surname.A* Aiden Ford, a fictional character from the television show Stargate Atlantis * Alan Ford (actor) (born 1937), English actor * Alan Ford (swimmer), 1940s American swimmer * Alan Ford (comics), an Italian comics… …   Wikipedia

  • Ford (Familienname) — Ford ist ein englischer Familienname. Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ford —   [fɔːd],    1) [fɔrt], Aleksander, polnischer Filmregisseur, * Lodz 24. 11. 1908, ✝ Los Angeles (Calif.) 29. 4. 1980; einer der Hauptgründer der polnischen filmkünstlerischen Bewegung um 1945, Organisator der Filmproduktion in Polen; emigrierte… …   Universal-Lexikon

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