posted on 09/23/2007 11:35:04 AM PDT
Comment - Wajdas Katyn
Wajdas Katyn is more than a historical record, it is a personal statement.
Comment by English Editor Aleksander Kropiwnicki
The film "Katyn" by Andrzej Wajda, the leading Polish director, will be certainly found as one of the best and most important movies created by this artist.
He is the senior among Polish film directors but is it really his last bow, as he suggests himself? Hopefully not. Its hard to imagine a man finishing his career when being in such a good shape.
It would be good to enjoy Wajdas art and, at the same time, to think again about the tragic events of 1940 without distraction. Unfortunately, we are being distracted. Constantly.
It was so many years ago and, as Lech Kaczynski, the Polish President, rightly pointed out during his visit in Katyn last Monday, none of the perpetrators of the Katyn massacre are now alive. We, the Poles, are not blaming contemporary Russia for what the Soviet security service, the NKVD, did to at least 15 thousand Polish military officers in the spring of 1940. However, its impossible to forget that the Polish war prisoners were shot dead just because they had refused to co-operate with the Soviet aggressors of 1939. Its impossible not to call it a murder. Its impossible not to notice that the Kremlin firmly refuses to accept that the Katyn massacre was genocide.
Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia, after a decade of some more honest historic policy, is quickly coming back to falsifying history. Some journalists and school-books simply ignore the Katyn crime. Some still claim that the murder was committed by the Nazi Germans. Some, last but not least, admit that the Poles were executed by the Soviet authorities and are likely to defend and praise that murder as the victims were supposedly "capitalists and enemies of the USSR". No one expects Russia to blame itself endlessly but why to deny obvious facts and why to defend the crime at the same time? Isnt it typical double-thinking, predicted by Orwell in his "1984"?
Some Russian politicians and columnists want to balance the Katyn murder by claiming that in 1920 dozens of thousands of Soviet war prisoners were killed in "the Polish concentration camps". This accusation is repeated despite all explanations that in 1920 Poland, like most of European countries, was suffering a typhus epidemic which killed a huge number of people, including, yes, at least two dozens of the Soviet war prisoners. None of them were killed, though, and "the Polish concentration camps" simply didnt exist. Moreover, almost the same number of soldiers of the aggressive Red Army, taken prisoners when attacking Warsaw, voluntarily joined the Polish Army and ended up on the Polish side soon after. One could hardly expect them to do so if they were not properly treated.
My suspicion is that those who use this false accusation as an argument against recognizing the Katyn massacre as an act of genocide, perfectly know that they are lying. They know and they dont, at the same time. In the name of Great Russia, which is always right and always clean, her sons apparently can and are supposed to lie. Sometimes thinking about this superpower state, so close to Poland in many ways like culture, poetry, sense of humor makes one feeling helpless.
posted on 09/23/2007 11:39:41 AM PDT
(Liberal - a man with his mind open ... at both ends)
posted on 09/23/2007 11:40:17 AM PDT
(If you're not outraged, people probably like having you around.)
And we were told for years that there was no Katyn Massacre. Some of our most trusted soviet sympathizers assured us that it never happened. I guess it’s OK to talk about it now?
posted on 09/23/2007 11:43:57 AM PDT
posted on 09/23/2007 11:56:19 AM PDT
It won’t win an Oscar. Hollywood’s favorite good guys, Soviet thugs, are the bad guys in this film. No chance for the little gold idol coming its way!
posted on 09/23/2007 12:55:43 PM PDT
(Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
An anti-Communist film has as much chance of winning an Oscar as Michael Vick has of winning Favorite Dog Owner.
posted on 09/23/2007 1:32:58 PM PDT
(Expel the priest and you don't inaugurate the age of reason, you get the witch doctor--Paul Johnson)
anyone know if this film has been released in the states yet?
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