Wajda's film is an adaptation of Adam Mickiewcz's nationally treasured epic poem, written in Paris in the mid-19th century, at a time when Poland had been wiped off the political map. The plot takes place in Lithuania (which was united with Poland in 1569, and after the partitions of Poland, annexed to Russia) in 1811 and 1812, in a manor house in Sopliców, and in Dobrzyn, an abode of the gentry. Its narrative includes threads of crime, passion, betrayal, jealousy and war. But a basic plot tells a simple love story involving young couple from two opposing families, set against the rising hopes that Napoleon will invade Russia and thus give back to Poland the independence it lost years earlier. In his film, Wajda shows also the much-laughed-at Polish character: fiery patriotism expressed in the heat of the moment without much thinking, and mundane quarrels that obscure bigger matters.
“Pan Tadeusz was born out of a need to show who we were, what we were called, what we were like and what characters were born among us,” Wajda once said. “Pan Tadeusz shows an amazing gallery of human types! (…) I am sure the audience will want to see it. ‘That’s us,’ they will say. That’s all. And that’s a lot.”
Regular admission $10.00, $7.00 for members, and $5.00 for students.