Polish scribe Jerzy Stefan Stawinski, who penned Andrezj Wajda’s “Kanal,” died June 12 in Warsaw of a heart attack. He was 88.
Stawinski authored many Polish classics of the ’50s and ’60s, mostly based on his own experiences. A soldier of the Polish Home Army, he took part in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944 and that shaped his artistic future.
Besides “Kanal,” he wrote scripts for Andrzej Munk’s “Bad Luck” and “Eroica,” plus Aleksander Ford’s costume drama “Black Cross.”
“Kanal” was based on his experience, evacuating from Warsaw by underground sewers during the war. He recounted how French critics congratulated him in Cannes for coming up with such a wonderful and hellish idea. “They thought it was a metaphor,” he added in amusement.
He directed a half-dozen films, but gave it up saying helming took up too much time. Stawinski continued to write, most recently for Michal Kwiecinski’s 2007 TV production “Tomorrow We Are Going to the Movies” about three friends’ last days before the war.