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FERA and EFA support Polish Directors’ Guild reaction to public TV attack on Ida


- Polish television TVP broadcasted a programme attacking Paweł Pawlikowski’s Oscar-winning film and European Parliament’s 2014 LUX Prize winner

FERA and EFA support Polish Directors’ Guild reaction to public TV attack on Ida
Ida by Paweł Pawlikowski

Last Thursday, 25 February, Polish pubcaster TVP showed Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
, but preceded the broadcast with a 12-minute program, titled Around Ida in which TVP and Polish Anti-Defamation League commentators claim that the story told in Ida attacks Poland’s reputation, is historically inaccurate and presents an overly negative picture of Polish people’s actions during the Nazi Occupation. The program also alleged that Ida would not have won its Oscar if it hadn’t presented events in Occupied Poland from the point of view of Jewish characters.

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FERA (Federation of European Film Directors) fully supports the protest letter of the Polish Directors’ Guild, in which it states: “For the first time in the 25-year long history of free public media in Poland a film was accompanied by an ideological interpretation, which did not present the viewer with an analysis of the film’s subject or its artistic value, but instead it enforced ‘its one and only correct’ interpretation. Such actions show not only the lack of respect toward the creators but also the viewers, who lose the opportunity to interpret the film on their own. (…) It’s a violation of good conduct and a clear example of manipulative propaganda practices, which do not fit the standards of media in a democratic state.”

FERA Chair Dan Clifton commented, “As European film directors we are deeply concerned by current trends in Poland. Not only is this a disgraceful and unwarranted attack on the integrity of Paweł Pawlikowski and his freedom of expression as Ida’s director. It is also more evidence of a worrying trend towards inappropriate state interference in Poland’s media on behalf of the new government. FERA stands alongside our colleagues in the Polish Directors’ Guild in utterly condemning this action.”

In the meantime, the EFA (European Film Academy) has also supported the cause. The Board of the European Film Academy wished to underline once again its firm belief in the freedom of speech and expression as one of the substantial pillars of modern democracy. A statement expressed that, while the EFA defends the plurality of opinions about films, and the right for open discussions about them, it cannot accept the manipulation of such a discussion by a one-sided judgement preceding its screening.

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