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Director opens set of Volhynia massacres movie

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 16.10.2014 12:06
Journalists visited the set of an upcoming movie on the WWII Volhynia massacres, Wednesday, as director Wojciech Smarzowski explores a traumatic page in Polish-Ukrainian history.

Director Wojciech Smarzowski with extras on set in Kazimierz Dolny. Photo: PAP/Wojciech Pacewicz

“This film will not have an easy reception,” Smarzowski said during a press conference on set in Kazimierz Dolny, south east Poland.

“However, the film is especially necessary at the moment, now that we are talking about Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation.”

The director argued that “concealing the truth about a crime is a sure-fire way to create more crimes.”

Up to 100,000 ethnic Poles are believed to have been slaughtered from 1943 to 1944 by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a guerrilla force that sought Ukrainian independence, and other forces.

The killings broke out in the Volhynia region, then occupied by Nazi Germany, but the murders soon spread to other parts of occupied south east Poland.

Photo: PAP/Wojciech Pacewicz

Smarzowski said recently that he will not make 'a black and white' version of events, noting that he will show “retaliatory killings” by the Polish underground Home Army, and that he will distinguish the UPA partisans from ordinary Ukrainians.

Asked on Wednesday whether he was concerned that the film might worsen Polish-Ukrainian relations, he said that he was focused above all on the job at hand.

“I want to make this movie honestly, and I am not especially concerned about what happens later,” he said.

Smarzowski wrote the script for his current film based on a collection of stories by author Stanislaw Srokowski.

The plot hinges on a young Polish woman who wants to marry a Ukrainian from the same village, contrary to her parents wishes.

A regular winner on the film festival circuit, Smarzowski is one of Poland's most noted directors. He made his feature film debut with 2004's The Wedding, and the Volhynia project will be his sixth film. (nh)

Source: PAP, TVP

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