Polish film director and screenwriter. The work of Krzysztof Zanussi includes feature films, short films, documentaries, and stage plays. He studied physics at the University of Warsaw, philosophy at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, and cinema at the Film School in Lodz. In 1990 he was elected president of the European Federation of Film Directors (FERA). Zanussi has made films in Poland, the U.S., Italy, and the former West Germany. His highly intellectual art is concerned mainly with psychological, religious, and moral issues.
His major films are: The Structure of Crystal (1969); Illumination (1973); Balance-Sheet (1974); Camouflage (1977); The Spiral (1978); The Constant Factor (1980); Imperative (1982); The Year of the Quiet Sun (1984; Grand Prix Golden Lion, Venice, 1984); The Power of Evil (1985); Wherever You Are (1989), and The Touch (1992).
Czechoslovak Communist leader. Antonín Zápotocky, the son of a tailor who was a founder of the Czech Socialist Party, was born in Zákolany, near the mining town of Kladno, Austria-Hungary (Bohemia). After finishing public school Zápotocky worked as a stone mason, and, as his entree into trade unionism, founded the Association of Stone Sculptors in 1902. While still a teenager he joined the Social Democratic Party and in 1902 he became the head of the Propaganda Commission of the Social Democratic Youth in Prague, and in 1907 the political secretary of the General Trade Union of Kladno. In 1911 he was elected to the Kladno town council. He was imprisoned in 1920 for leading a general strike in Kladno. In 1921, Zápotocky was a co-founder of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and he became its general secretary in 1923. He was elected a Communist member of the Czechoslovak parliament in 1925 and worked as a party organizer and propagandist. He set up the party press in Czechoslovakia, and, as secretary general of the Communist Trade Unions from 1929 to 1939, he organized trade unions and cooperatives.
During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia he was imprisoned at Sachsenhausen for six years. In 1945 Zapotocky became the head of the new United Revolutionary Trade Union Movement and served on the Provisional National Assembly. In 1946 he was elected to the Constituent National Assembly. He played a key role in the Communist coup in 1948 by organizing “action committees” among factory workers to support the coup. Following the coup he became deputy prime minister and was appointed premier when Klement Gottwald assumed the presidency vacated by Edvard Benes. When Klement Gottwald died in 1953, Zápotocky became president. Zápotocky and the new prime minister, Viliám Siroky, desired a slight relaxation from the repressiveness of Gottwald's Stalinism. However, riots precipitated in May 1953 by monetary reforms that wiped out the savings of many farmers and workers enabled Antonín Novotny, a Stalinist on the party is Politburo, to successfully oppose any liberalization. In September 1953 Novotny became first secretary of the Communist Party and Zápotocky was forced to accept collective leadership. In reality this meant that power was in the hands of Novotny.