Starting out as an actor, Polanski quickly gained international recognition as a director with Repulsion (1965) and Cul-de-sac (1966). He went to Hollywood in 1968 and made the thriller Rosemary's Baby. After the 1969 murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, Polanski left the United States, returning in 1974 with Chinatown, which earned him his first Oscar nomination for Best Director.
Fleeing America again -- this time in the wake of a statutory rape conviction -- Polanski continued to make memorable films, including Tess, Frantic, Death and the Maiden and The Pianist (2002), for which he won a Best Director Oscar.
While apprenticing for a woodworker in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, young Stach (Tadeusz Lomnicki) befriends the older Sekula (Janusz Paluszkiewicz), a Communist organizer who introduces the teen to the underground resistance. Soon, Stach falls for the beautiful resistance leader Dorota (Urszula Modrzynska) and becomes an impassioned fighter for the cause in the assured debut of master Polish director Andrzej Wajda.