Katyn

Katyn

4.6 6
Director: Andrzej Wajda

Cast: Andrzej Wajda, Maja Ostaszewska, Artur Zmijewski, Andrzej Chyra

     
 

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Celebrated Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda takes the helm for this Oscar-nominated drama detailing the harrowing events surrounding the 1940 massacre of captured Polish army officers in the Katyn Forest. A unique blend of conventional narrative and documentary-style filmmaking, Katyn opens in the spring of 1940, just as the Soviet Secret police execute a group

Overview

Celebrated Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda takes the helm for this Oscar-nominated drama detailing the harrowing events surrounding the 1940 massacre of captured Polish army officers in the Katyn Forest. A unique blend of conventional narrative and documentary-style filmmaking, Katyn opens in the spring of 1940, just as the Soviet Secret police execute a group of Polish officers. On September 1, 1939, Germen forces had descended upon Poland, paving the way for the Red Army to occupy east Poland as part of the Hitler-Stalin pact. As the Red Army assumed control of east Poland, all officers in the Polish army were placed in Soviet custody. Determined to remain loyal to the army despite the growing danger, Polish officer Andrzej refuses to flee with his wife, Anna. It isn't long before invading forces begin arresting professors in Cracow, and as the detainees languish in prison camps, their families start to fear that they'll never see their loved ones again. Flash forward to April 1943, and the Germans announce the discovery of mass graves. While Anna is relieved not to hear her husband's name on the list of bodies discovered, countless others are left to grieve their losses with no explanation or consolation. January 18, 1945: Cracow is liberated by the Red Army, and propagandist newsreels from the Soviet Union blame German forces for the massacre at Katyn. It is at that point that the fine line between collaboration and resistance within the People's Republic of Poland becomes exceptionally blurred. As the details surrounding the massacre gradually begin to emerge, Wajda reveals precisely how this horrifying massacre unfolded by flashing back to the spring of 1940 for an extended sequence in which Polish officer internees are transported by railroad to Smolensk and methodically dispatched before being casually buried in a mass grave.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
The story of Katyn is one that wouldn't die, despite the half-century efforts of the Soviet Union to bury the facts and suppress any questions or doubts about the official account. Andrzej Wajda has contributed mightily to the international profile of this lingering tragedy in the history of Poland -- in which much of an entire generation of the then-occupied nation's intellectuals and leaders were massacred -- with Katyn. One of his most personal projects, it intersects with his own family history -- his own father was one of the victims -- but it goes much further than a personal story. Its screenplay, which Wajda co-authored, weaves its story across a broader canvas of characters, whose stories, though somewhat confusing at moments, are all effectively interwoven into an amazingly coherent whole, much neater than some of the facts still buried about the actual massacre. The cast, including Artur Zmijewski, Maja Ostaszewska, Jan Englert, Pawel Malaszynski, and Wiktoria Gasiewska, is note-perfect; and, incidentally, given that this is a war-related subject, Katyn may surprise audiences by being very much an actresses' picture, as so many of those left to sift the ruins and wreckage of families, and seek the truth, were women. Some of the character relationships and time jumps seem confusing at first, but the script does pull those seemingly disparate threads together. Strangely enough, one can see the potential beginnings of several other film stories within those disparate sections of Katyn, the script is so filled with intriguing characters and players -- several movies' worth, in fact. The re-enactment of the massacre and the events leading up to it are suitably brutal, and quite convincing in their detail, in the absence of better information. Additionally, the music by Krzysztof Penderecki -- though totally uncommercial by Hollywood standards -- adds a subtle but powerful element of mood accompaniment to the proceedings, and ought to be heard on its own at some point. Pawel Edelman's cinematography successfully bridges the half-century gap in timeline, and, for much of the film (where violence and murder are not the subject at hand) probably -- and this is not a criticism -- makes the movie more pleasant to look at than its subject matter would lead one to expect. There are one or two moments when a bit of research of Western popular culture might have tightened up some loose moments in the script, but otherwise, Katyn is an unrelentingly powerful and seamless indictment of two brutal political systems and an outside world that, after the war, was too busy concerning itself about what to do with its former ally the Soviet Union to worry about a mass execution in a remote part of Eastern Europe.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/22/2010
UPC:
5021866009407
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
NR
Source:
Ais
Time:
1:57:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Maja Ostaszewska Anna
Artur Zmijewski Andrzej
Andrzej Chyra Jerzy
Danuta Stenka General's Wife
Jan Englert General
Magdalena Cielecka Agnieszka
Pawel Malaszynski Lieutenant Pilot
Agnieszka Glinska Irena
Maja Komorowska Captain's Mother
Wladyslaw Kowalski Captain's Father
Siergiej Garmasz Russian Officer
Antoni Pawlicki Tadeusz
Krzysztof Kolberger Priest
Krzysztof Globisz Professor of Chemistry
Anna Radwan Anna's Sister-in-Law
Agnieszka Kawiorska Ewa
Joachim Paul Assböck Lt. Colonel Müller
Stanislawa Celinska Stasia
Sergei Garmash Maj. Popov

Technical Credits
Andrzej Wajda Director,Screenwriter
Magdalena Biedrzycka Costumes/Costume Designer
Ewa Brodzka Sound/Sound Designer
Magdalena Dipont Art Director
Pawel Edelman Cinematographer
Milenia Fiedler Editor
Leszek Freund Sound/Sound Designer
Katarzyna Fukacz-Cebula Executive Producer
Jacek Hamela Sound/Sound Designer
Michal Kwiecinski Producer
Rafal Listopad Editor
Tomasz Matraszek Makeup
Przemyslaw Nowakowski Screenwriter
Wladyslaw Pasikowski Screenwriter
Krzysztof Penderecki Score Composer
Waldemar Pokromski Makeup
Kamil Przelecki Production Designer
Andrzej Szenajch Costumes/Costume Designer
Marek Wronko Makeup,Sound/Sound Designer

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Katyn 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
silkgirl More than 1 year ago
Went we watched the Movie, you just wanted to sees what happened next! The Movie was great and the best forever... I seen and you should not missed it.
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