April month of generals in theatres
Burying the blank pages of historical events whose origins and causes remain a mystery and still baffle historians: this is the aim of two Polish features launched in theatres in April.
Monolith Films is today releasing General Nil [+see also:
film profile] (see news) by Ryszard Bugajski, director the 1982 cult film Interrogation, which looked at the Communist regime’s systematic humiliation of people.
Produced by Wytwórnia Filmów Dokumentalnych i Fabularnych w Warszawie with backing from the PISF, General Nil centres on General Emil Fieldorf.
Known by the pseudonym Nil and played on screen by Olgierd Lukaszewicz, he was a member of the Polish secret army during the Second World War and planned the assassination of Nazi general Franc Kutchera. Falsely accused by the communists, he was later sentenced to death and executed in 1953.
Meanwhile, Anna Jadowska’s new film General. Zamach na Gibraltarze [+see also:
film profile] ("General, The Gibraltar Assassination Attempt"), released on April 3, retraces the final days of one of the most eminent politicians of the same era: General Wladyslaw Sikorski. The film is set in the palace of the Gibraltar Governor, Mason Macfarlane, who must convince the general (Krzysztof Pieczyński) to return the documents providing proof of the Russian army’s mass murder of Polish officers at Katyn.
Flanked only by his daughter Zofia (Kamilla Baar) and his closest collaborators, the general refuses: his assassination is thus planned. Focusing on this mysterious death – which is much disputed (Is there no truth in the theory of his death following a plane disaster?) and still unsolved – Jadowska refuses to offer any definitive answers.
Known for her rapid editing, dynamic style and non-linear plot structures (as in her 2003 film Touch Me), the director chose to depart from the clichéd format of the historical thriller. She explained: "I wanted to reach out to young audiences. It’s about exploring the character of the general from a different perspective, revealing his story in a way that is both dynamic and accessible to the young generation."
Produced by TVN and launched theatrically on 57 screens by ITI Cinema, Generał, Zamach na Giblartarze attracted 11,224 viewers during its first week-end on release and claimed eighth place in the weekly box office rankings.
(Translated from French)
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