"The Wedding" is the most original play written for the theatre in Polish and it’s hard to imagine our literary and theatre life without it. It links, in a unique way, a description of a real wedding which Wyspianski witnessed in late autumn of 1900 with philosophical, historiosophical and liberation issues very important to the Polish society at the time.
Who are you? - the author asks the wedding guests. And who were we in the free and powerful Poland of the past centuries? Can we win freedom for ourselves and for future generations? Can the Polish intelligentsia and artists lead the peasant masses, which are the only real social force in an economically and culturally backward country? Wyspianski does not only ask, he also pronounces his verdict: you aren’t mature enough for freedom, you just turn around in a cursed dance of stagnation and torpor. This is the meaning of the last scene of “The Wedding”.
Wyspianski’s accusation was a shock for his contemporaries, and its daring insight is still amazing. But “The Wedding” also became a prediction for the new era - thirteen years later the First World War broke out, and in 1918 Poland returned to the map of Europe as a free country, won back in an armed struggle by, among others, those funny guests of the Bronowice wedding, allegedly not mature enough to take responsibility for themselves and for others.
- Andrzej Wajda [x]
Wajda’s masterpiece takes us to the very heart of Polish reality. (…) At first glance, it deals with an atmosphere of happiness in which the camera participates without restraint. Like an invited guest it clings to dancers, gets drunk on folk music, cuts into conversations, highlights the replies, look closely at faces, and then rushes to dance again. Untiring, curious, mad, but hopelessly incisive. (…) This is Poland exposed in its contradictions. (…) Poland drunk with alcohol and with words, suffering from the nobility’s fantastic and ridiculous heroism, rigidly resigned and Catholic, a true likeness of the messenger who gallops on horseback through a nonexistent countryside. (…) This wonderful allegory, which successfully links the Baroque to perception, is more convincing than any deliberately didactic discourse.
- Raymond Lefévre, "Image et Son", Paris, March 1974