SMOLEŃSK 2016

JAN ŻARYN

The Grand Theatre – National Opera was a witness of a historical premiere of a film ‘Smoleńsk’ directed by Antoni Krauze. The premiere took place in the presence of the supreme national authorities with the President of Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, the prime minister Beata Szydło, marshals of the Seym and Senate as well as ministers and the audience of two thousand people. The introductory ceremony was conducted by a famous journalist Jan Pospieszalski, and after the film premiere there was a discussion with drinking a glass of wine or juice. It was neither the first nor the last cultural event organized in the aula of the Grand Theatre. I have been there many times. Thanks to the famous and energetic distributor the film entered cinema screens all over Poland, and thanks to the media discussion on it, Poles went to see it in a big number – or they are going to go to watch it in order to recall a fragment of their own biography. However, it seems obvious that the premiere of this film showing an important event from the modern history of Poland and Poles, would not have taken place in this atmosphere with the participation of the aforementioned people, if it had not been for the electoral results from 2015. I imagine that we are still being governed by the Civil Platform party and managers of the main TV and radio stations, which dictate the range of discussions on this film and create lists of guests. I can see through the eyes of my imagination that only in Ronin’s Club in Warsaw and in 50 other clubs spread all over Poland, Poles gather together in the evenings in order to share their reflections on the movie work of Krauze. Something from those catacomb scenes has remained till now, when we are looking at this film. Undoubtedly it was made at the low budget, and the scene of the airplane explosion proves technical possibilities of the producer (Maciej Pawlicki). This is a film boycotted by actors; only a few of them, known by their views (like Jerzy Zelnik or Ewa Dałkowska) ‘dared’ to act in it. Other famous actors, as they said, were embarrassed to take part ‘in such a film’. So, they were not present during the ceremony in the Grand Theatre, which changed the social structure in Warsaw; people from catacombs entered the lounges. Thanks to Polish electors, elections from 2015 resulted in the change of the cultural image in Poland.

‘Smoleńsk’ has mainly got the documentary value. In pop culture it will play an important role and it should be so. Poles who have not read thoroughly the recordings of difficult discussions or professional articles yet, thanks to the film director Krauze they received a packet of knowledge necessary to analyze and accept or reject it. So, the film has a chance to fulfill the therapeutic-cognitive function. Authors of the scenario headed by Marcin Wolski and Tomasz Łysiak reminded about the atmosphere of those days in April 2010, as well as a lot of lies and vulgar behaviours. They reminded about a series of strange suicides, about the state of submissive atitude of functionaries of the Polish country towards the Russian ‘partner’ who, in fact, had never deserved this name.

So, film ‘Smoleńsk’ will remain an important work in the history of Polish cinematography and through political changes in democratic Poland, it will also remain an unnoticed work which does not give in to ostracism or boycott. Previous liars must find another tool of deterring from the issue and tragedy of Smoleńsk. Luckily, there were not many of them, and they were only strong due to the power, rudeness and impunity of media. The definite majority of Poles among erstwhile lemmings succumbed to propaganda, not being able to find counterarguments. Today they have been given to me in a clear and logical way. So, we can only sit down comfortably in armchairs.

AA

„Niedziela” 38/2016

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • Translation: Aneta Amrozik • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl