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Winner of the European Film Awards Prix d’Excellence
The critically-acclaimed film from Poland’s greatest living director, Andrzej Wajda
1940. After Germany’s invasion of Poland, Joseph Stalin ordered the liquidation of the Polish officer corps, slaughtering nearly 22,000 men in Katyn Forest. Based on this horrific, historical event, Katyn tells the affecting story of four fictional officers and their families as they struggle to uncover the truth. Based on the novel “Post Mortem” by Andrzej Mularczyk.
OVER 80 MINUTES OF BONUS FEATURES:
Interview with Andrzej Wajda
”Katyn: 60 Days on the Set” making-of featurette
Top Customer Reviews
Wajda's masterful film centers on this dismal episode by revealing the webs of commitment and interaction that connect disparate lives - from an impetuous youth, to the staid wife of an executed general. Most all of the movie is an examination of these connections, of how lies and fabrications feed terror, of how in war there are seldom good choices between right and wrong. Only in the closing minutes, after all the victims have been deeply humanized, is the brutal, machine-like horror of the killings brought to center stage. The effect is powerful and profound.
The misty cinematography, in hues of brown and grey, evokes the mood and texture of wartime. Characters are richly drawn, and if at times the sudden introduction of new faces is confusing, it is only until one realizes Wajda's intent: these people could be any of us. (As reviewed in Russian Life)
The Germans found the massacre site in 1943 and announced it to the Poles, hoping to use it for propaganda against Russia. The Russians denied the accusation and then staged it to appear the Germans were behind the butchery. Katyn doesn't tell the story in a chronological way, but we see it unfold slowly; we see both the men at war and the women at home who love them. The wives, mothers and daughters of the Polish officers spend so much time waiting and wondering what happened to them. Even when the war ends the problems of the war do not - they spill into the decades that follow.
Andrzej Wajda is Poland's best-known director and has been making films for over fifty years. I think it is great Wajda is still making films because his recent work is opening the door to younger audiences who primarily watch contemporary movies. He has long ago established himself as being a brilliant director and Katyn reflects his years of experience and talent.
Katyn is a story that is strongly based on history and is the first film about the Soviet massacre of nearly 22,000 Polish officers. I viewed Katyn with someone who lived through this time and he confirmed that even the smallest details were right on and the way it is presented is how it was.Read more ›
The movie begins with the German-Soviet conquest of Poland in 1939. The viewer senses the actions of the aggressors through the eyes of the civilians.
But this is only the beginning of Poland's sufferings. Both enemies of Poland begin their genocide of Poles with the cream of Polish society. The Germans invite some professors to the university, only to promptly arrest them (for shooting, or slow deaths in concentration camps). The Soviets hold the captured officers and intellectuals at places such as Kozielsk, where the prisoners sing Christmas carols in December 1939. It will be their last Christmas. By spring 1940, the Soviets decide to shoot nearly all of the captive Polish officers.
The movie also shows the life of relatives of the Soviet-held men. First there are the letters, and hope for a speedy reunion. Then...silence. Finally, the Germans break the news of their discovery of the Katyn mass graves, and exploit it for propaganda purposes--hoping to divide the Allies. The relatives face the fact that their men will never return.
After the war, the suffering of the Katyn relatives continues. Information about the exact fate of the missing men is skimpy. The Soviet puppet state, using the Communist terror police (the UB), tries to force the grieving relatives to sign a statement blaming the Germans for the crime. The relatives also face pressure from others to "accept reality" that Poland will never again be free, and must align itself with Soviet dictates. They refuse. Then they have problems sending their son to the university because they won't bow to the Soviet lie about Katyn.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, Wacjek can't do a bad film. Interesting characters and a powerful, and all too true, story.Published 2 months ago by Paula
One of the best movies I've seen this decade.
Very sad though, and it takes a certain amount of concentration (and a knowledge of history helps).
It is hard to say I "love" this story. It is an account of one the most heinous massacres of WWII. The characterizations and acting are exceptional. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Rick H.
This movie was SO moving - a great depiction of a historical event that much of the world has never heard of.Published 9 months ago by Raana Abbasey
A HISTORY WORTH REMEMBERING OF WHAT COMMUNISM IS ALL ABOUT, A WONDERFUL MOVIE BESIDESPublished 10 months ago by Ricardo Yglesias