Archive of films Katyn / Katyń
2007, 117 min
Section: Official Selection - Out of Competition
Rather than a film about the Katyn massacre, Katyn focuses more on the Katyn lie. The story is largely set in occupied Cracow, where the families of murdered officers are bemused by contradictory propaganda from the warring sides and vainly try to find out what happened to their loved ones in captivity. The truth is reconstructed at the close of the film.
After the Soviet aggression on 17 September 1939 around 4,500 Polish officers were imprisoned in Kozelsk. At Stalin’s orders, the majority were executed in Katyn in the early spring of 1940. Thousands more Polish prisoners perished in other camps. In 1943 the Germans accused the NKVD for the Katyn massacre; the Soviets in turn laid the blame on the Germans. In post-war Poland people were punished for spreading the truth about the Katyn atrocity… Wajda, whose father also died in captivity, however, bases his work on the experiences of the families of Katyn victims. They were not only deceived by two-way propaganda, but also terrorised by two sources of totalitarian power. The plot largely unfolds in occupied Cracow, whose oppressive atmosphere Wajda creates from his own recollections, and leads into the ominous period after liberation, perceived as yet another occupation. Through his choice of protagonists, in particular, the women, he draws out a dark past with its resolute voice of hope, solidarity and quiet courage. The director treats this highly political theme on a personal level; as a reliable chronicler of Polish history he also highlights the suffering of the intellectual elite, systematically annihilated by totalitarian regimes.
About the director
Andrzej Wajda (b. 1926, Suwałki, Poland) devoted much of his oeuvre to his own reflections of wartime Poland. After his debut A Generation (Pokoleniye, 1954) he focused on the resistance fighters from the ranks of the unacknowledged Home Army in the films Canal (Kanał, 1956), Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament, 1958) and The Ring with a Crowned Eagle (Pierścionek z orłem w koronie, 1992). The tragic start to the war was captured in the films Lotna (1959) and Chronicle of Amorous Accidents (Kronika wypadków miłosnych, 1985), the post-war trauma of imprisoned Poles in Landscape after the Battle (Krajobraz po bitwie, 1970) and the humiliating treatment of Poles in A Love in Germany (Eine Liebe in Deutschland, 1983). Wajda considered the lot of the Jews in the films Samson (1961), Korczak (1988) and Holy Week (Wielki Tydzień, 1995). Katyn (2007) is to date Wajda’s most recent return to war issues.
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Section:||Official Selection - Out of Competition|
|Screenplay:||Andrzej Wajda, Władysław Pasikowski, Przemysław Nowakowski podle románu Andrzeje Mularczyka Post mortem / based on the novel Post mortem by Andrzej Mularczyk|
|Dir. of Photography:||Paweł Edelman|
|Editor:||Milenia Fiedler, Rafał Listopad|
|Cast:||Maja Ostaszewska, Artur Żmijewski, Andrzej Chyra, Jan Englert, Danuta Stenka, Paweł Małaszyński, Magdalena Cielecka|
|Contact:||TVP SA, Bontonfilm, a.s.|
Film Institution Rep., Film Institution Rep.