105 minutes, Poland, 2011, Subtitled, Colour

Antoni Krauze, an alumnus of the renowned National Film School in Łódź alongside Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski, here takes a multi-stranded approach to the Polish 1970 protests which ended with the slaughter of at least some 40 Gdynia shipyard workers by police and soldiers on December 17th.

There are three main areas of focus: the Drywy family, who initially pay little attention to the unfolding events until they are affected by tragedy; the story of the workers’ strike itself, how it began and its aftermath; and the behind-the-scenes political machinations as the government prepared its response.

In its original title, the film takes its name from a typically Polish name accorded to an anonymous 18-year-old worker whose body was famously carried on a door through the city streets. The scenes of the attack on the workers are particularly tense in a fiercely angry film that questions how a government could so easily turn on its own people.

This film is screening as part of Kinopolis: 7th Polish Film Festival (November 8th – 11th, 2012).

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