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Pawłowski, Roman

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Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | 30/08/2008

Political cinema

In Poland, public funding for the film 'The Mystery of Westerplatte', which tells the story of Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland, has been withdrawn. Politicians and the media were unhappy because in their opinion the script failed to depict the soldiers as heroically as they deserve. The daily Gazeta Wyborcza criticises the withdrawal of the funding. "The atmosphere is as tense as if the [warship] 'Schleswig Holstein' were firing at the Polish bases once more. Once again we see that it is impossible to talk about the past ... without stirring up emotions in Poland. ... What kind of historical cinema does Poland need? [Does it need] films commissioned by politicians to mark anniversaries that simply reflect the interpretation of history supported by the politician in question, or films that are not defined by the calendar and political agreements but by the passion and curiosity of their makers? Films that sometimes raise dangerous questions about our past. ... The question is whether viewers will pay for this."

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