Perhaps a better title for the third and final film in our Andrzej Wajda War Films boxset would be "Ashes or Diamonds". The question asked is what will become of his nation after the traumatic flames of war and occupation. Though, perhaps, Wajda is letting us know that there are both ashes and diamonds to be found.
The title comes from a piece by the rather great Polish Romantic poet Cyprian Norwid. I read it in the episode, as two characters do in the film:
So often, are you as a blazing torch with flames
of burning rags falling about you flaming,
you know not if flames bring freedom or death.
Consuming all that you must cherish
if ashes only will be left, and want Chaos and tempest
Or will the ashes hold the glory of a starlike diamond
The Morning Star of everlasting triumph.