Born on 6.3.1926 in Suwalki, Poland. 1946-49 student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow and at the National Film School in Lodz.
Since Ashes and Diamond (1958) he is regarded as one of Poland’s, and Europe’s, most important directors. Cofounder of the "Polish School". Director of Warsaw Film Studio’s ‘Group X’ from 1972-82.
President of the Polish Film Association from 1978-1982. Member of Solidarnosc. Elected senator in 1989. Also a theatre director.