The book Cinema and the Rest of the World is a reflection upon Wajda's life as well as an attempt at understanding its connections with the artist’s work. Written just before he received the Academy Award, it chronicles the making of his most recent films as well as his views on the developments in world cinema. What is more, Wajda discloses some hereto unknown details of his life and talks about his lifelong fascination with Japanese film and culture.
"I am often asked why it was Japan that attracted my special interest. Why was it, when I had so many different options available, that my attention turned towards that distant land?
The answer’s simple, I think. In Japan I met people my heart goes out to. I don’t speak their language, and I’ve got a very rough idea about their customs, but I think I know them well. They have all those qualities which all my life I wanted to develop and nurture in myself: gravity, a sense of responsibility and honour, and a need for tradition. Thanks to my encounter with Japan I know that these beautiful attributes don’t just exist in my imagination. I know that they really exist."
From an interview, Warsaw, 20th July 1997