Film-maker plans controversial World War II drama
PR dla Zagranicy
Director Jaroslaw Banaszek is preparing a feature film about the armed struggles between Poles and Ukrainians during World War II.
The film will be focused on the 1943 defence of the Polish village of Przebraze against the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). Przebraze, which no longer exists, lay in the region of Volhynia, which belonged to Poland prior to the war, but currently lies in Ukraine.
“For years, the slaughter in Volhynia was a taboo subject,” screenwriter Artur Krasicki told the Rzeczpospolita daily. “Even now, witnesses are reluctant to talk about the events of 1943,” he added.
A campaign to purge Volhynia – which fell under Nazi German occupation in 1941- from Polish inhabitants was launched in the Spring of 1943 by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, an underground force which sought national independence for Ukraine. Historians estimate that over 30,000 Poles were slaughtered by Ukrainian nationalists in Volhynia. The Polish underground fought back and a tit for tat guerilla war developed, partly in areas that still lie in south eastern Poland. Across the entire territories of occupied Poland, it is believed that 70,000 Poles perished at the hands of UPA. It is estimated that Poles slaughtered some 20,000 Ukrainians. The defence of Przebraze was organised under the self-appointed leadership of a group of veterans of the 1919-1921 Polish-Bolshevik War.
Cracovian director Jaroslaw Banaszek hopes to finish the feature film in time for the 70th anniversary of the struggles in 2013. The working title of the project is Garnizon 100 (Garrison 100).(nh)