Sampson is one of several Andrzej Wajda films harking back to his youth during the Nazi Occupation of Poland. Many of these concern not only the struggle between good and evil, but also between passive and impassive. The hero is a Jewish youth. He, like his family, has always been silent and undemonstrative in the face of prejudice. Now he stands up for his right to survive, and in so doing represents the fighting spirit that culminated in the 1943 Warsaw Uprising. It was originally titled Samson, but re-spelled as Sampson upon its American release to avoid confusion with a sword-and-sandal epic of the same name.