110 minutes, Poland, 2015, Subtitled, Digital

This film screened on Friday 4th December 2015.

In 2004, the Polish military controlled the South Central zone of Iraq, which included the Karbala governorate and its capital, a city holy to Shi’a Muslims. A sudden uprising saw a small contingent of Polish and Bulgarian soldiers hugely outnumbered by militia forces, but ordered to hold Karbala’s City Hall, seat of the local authorities and police. This fictionalised version of the subsequent battle, the largest in which Polish troops had taken part since the Second World War, sees Bartłomiej Topa as Captain Kalicki, responsible for his men’s survival, in this intelligent and unsentimental example of quality mainstream Polish cinema.

Showing as part of IFI & Kinopolis Polish Film Festival (3rd-6th December). For more details see the festival homepage.

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