Katyń 2007, Andrzej Wajda, darama, Poland, 125 min, VO, ENG sub
Cast: Maja Ostaszewska, Artur Żmijewski , Danuta Stenka, Paweł Małaszyński Magdalena Cielecka, Maja Komorowska, Władysław Kowalski, Andrzej Chyra, Stanisława Celińska, Agnieszka Glińska, Krzysztof Globisz, Krzysztof Kolberger, Jan Englert
Andrzej Wajda's Katyń, a film about the thousands of Polish officers murdered by the Soviet NKVD [secret police], had its premiere on 17 September 2007.
The picture, initially entitled Post Mortem. Opowieść katyńska / Post Mortem. The Katyń Story, is an element of the public education campaign "Katyń 1940. I Remember". Despite the many years which have passed since the Katyń crime, the exhumation of bodies, the opening of archives, and Polish research in the 1990s, still too little is known about the events of April and May 1940. The investigation begun in November 2004 by the Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes Against the Polish Nation continues. The families of the murdered officers are still waiting for the results.
The plot of the film is set after the war. A Polish officer's mother, wife, and daughter await his return from a POW camp. Worried by his lengthening absence, they decide to start a search. Even though Wajda's film touches upon a historical topic which is among the most painful for Polish people, the director himself wrote that:
"... a film about Katyń cannot aim to reveal the whole truth about this event, since that has been done in both a historical and political aspect. For today's audience, these facts can only form the backdrop for events which are human stories, as only these shown on screen can move viewers, as opposed to reports from our history, whose proper place is in the written records of those times. That's why I see my ... film about Katyń as the story of a Family separated forever, about great illusions and the brutal truth of the Katyń crime. ... [It's a] film about individual suffering, which evokes images with a much greater emotional capacity than historical facts. [It's a] film presenting a truth that's painfully cruel, whose heroes are not the murdered officers but the women who await their return every day, every hour, experiencing inhumane uncertainty ..." (the original Polish comes from the film's official website: www.katyn.netino.pl).
For the director, this is one of his most personal films - for many years he and his family believed that"perhaps our father was alive, since the Katyń list contained the surname Wajda, but with the first name Karol. My mother believed almost until the end of her days in the return of her husband and my father Jakub Wajda ...".