"For this reason I had to show the war in its real character- as murderous and awesome. Every exaggeration could be justified in such a situation, because it was synonymous with protest. Now, nobody cares about protest. Now, you are given scenes in which a policeman scatters someone’s brains around, but the story defends neither the victim nor the policeman. The scene is an end in itself. It serves no deeper purpose. Violence acts as the attracting energy. Buñuel once said that it is immoral to shoot a man with a gun. All it shows is that it is easy to kill; you shoot a man and he falls. That is all. What should be shown on the screen, said Buñuel, is the agony of death. The dying man is suffering but the killer suffers, too. Only this mutual torment can lead to catharsis."
- Andrzej Wajda in a 1977 interview with Krystyna Korvin Przybylska