In post-war Poland, renowned painter Wladyslaw Strzemi?ski works as a professor at the National School of Fine Arts in ?ód?. A great artist and co-creator of the theory of Unism, Strzemi?ski became famous before the Second World War. His students still treat him like the “messiah of modern painting”, but university authorities and the Ministry of Culture have a very different opinion. Unlike artists loyal to the doctrines of socialist realism and fulfilling Party tasks, Strzemi?ski does not compromise his art. He refuses to comply with Party regulations, and he is eventually expelled from the university and the artists' union. But Strzemi?ski's students continue to support him, visiting him for private lectures. They pen down his Theory of Vision and listen to his critique of their work. But jobless Strzemi?ski, impaired due to a missing arm and leg, soon falls into poverty and poor health as the Communist authorities remain persistent in their actions to ruin him...
The story of one man's singular struggle for artistic freedom in a totalitarian system. A passionate biopic from Polish master Andrzej Wajda (WALESA, KATYN, MAN OF IRON, DANTON, THE PROMISED LAND).