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Looking to cut costs on the remodelling of his new apartment in London, a Polish official brings in a handful of workers from Warsaw on tourist visas. While they are deep in the midst of reconstruction, Poland is swept by political turmoil. The military have imposed martial law, outlawed the unions and put the free world on alert. The foreman, Nowak (Jeremy Irons), the only one of the group who speaks English, must keep knowledge of the situation in Poland from his co-workers until the job is finished, and also figure out a way to get his fellow workers home before it’s too late. The film won the best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival the year it was screened.
At the beginning of his career, he co-wrote the screenplay for Polanski’s Knife in the Water (1962). In 1967 he was awarded Golden Bear for The Departure. He lived in LA for over 20 years where he painted and occasionally acted in films. He received the Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2016 Venice Film Festival.