Aleksander Ford's life story is more interesting than his films (I've seen three.) He was Jewish, became a Marxist in his youth, directed his first film when he was 21 and was one of Poland's leading directors throughout the 30s. Escaping to the Soviet Union when the Nazis invaded he became head of the Polish People's Army film crew, and when the Soviets "liberated" Poland he became the leading director there. He was head of Film Polski, able to censor colleagues' efforts, and even denounced one colleague to the NKVD, leading to the man's arrest and torture and the end of his career in features. Ford was also professor of the National Film School in Lodz, where his pupils included Wadja and Polanski. Then things went wrong. His proteges outshone him, starting with Wajda's great war trilogy, and in 1968 the party he's served so slavishly expelled him.....for being Jewish (Gomulka's anti-Semitic purge.) He want into exile and finally committed suicide in, of all places, Florida.
Before his fall he'd been entrusted with two big-budget nationalist films, "Young Chopin" (1952) and "Knights of the Teutonic Order", also known as "Black Cross" (1960.) The latter is way too long, and I gave up long before the end. Both film are unlikely to appeal to non-Polish viewers, as the host of historical characters will be unknown to them, and both are frankly dull. "First Day of Freedom", the last film he made before his fall, is more accessible and interesting. It's set in 1945, like many films, but the basic premise (released Polish POWs arrive in an abandoned German town, where they meet a German doctor and his daughters) is an unusual one, and although the stage origins are plain it held my interest and has a strong ending. It also benefits from two strong leads, Tadeusz Lomnicki and Beata Tyszkiewicz, who will be known to film buffs for their work in films made by later, better and less conformist Polish directors.
If the above hasn't put you off, these three films are all available on DVD with English subtitles, from companies I'm not allowed to mention!