KRAKOW, Poland (AP) — Hundreds of people including politicians, actors and family packed into a Polish church Wednesday to mourn the death of Poland’s leading filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, an honorary Oscar winner.
A metal urn with Wajda’s ashes, surrounded by white flowers, and his black-and-white portrait were placed by the altar at the 13th century Holy Trinity church of the Dominican friars in Krakow, southern Poland.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, foreign diplomats, family members, actors and intellectuals filled the church to capacity for the funeral Mass.
“Isn’t it true that artists create their works because they believe in good, which has the final word in the world?,” Bishop Grzegorz Rys said the homily.
Letters were read out from Polish filmmakers Roman Polanski and Agnieszka Holland as well as former president and Solidarity founder Lech Walesa, whose struggle against the communist regime inspired Wajda to make a movie about him.
Later Wednesday, Wajda was to be laid to rest at Krakow’s historic Salwator Cemetery, where the movie director’s mother is buried.
Wajda died in a Warsaw hospital Oct. 9 at the age of 90, just months after finishing “Afterimage,” Poland’s entry for a foreign language Academy Award. In 2000 he received an honorary lifetime achievement Oscar.
He is survived by his fourth wife, stage designer and actress Krystyna Zachwatowicz, his daughter Karolina, and former wife, actress Beata Tyszkiewicz.
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