Jan Józef Lipski (1926-1991) was one of Poland's best known political activists. He was also a writer and a literary critic. As a soldier in the Home Army (Armia Krajowa), he fought in the Warsaw Uprising. In 1976, following worker protests, he co-founded the Workers' Defense Committee (KOR). His active opposition to Poland's communist authorities led to his arrest and imprisonment on several occasions. In 1987, he re-established and headed the Polish Socialist Party. Two years later, he was elected to the Polish Senate. He died in 1991 while still in office. For his significant work, Lipski was honoured with the Cross of the Valorous (Krzyż Walecznych), posthumously with the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1991) and with the highest Polish decoration, the Order of the White Eagle (2006).
Koszty stanu wojennego były bardzo duże i to nie tylko dlatego, że moim zdaniem zahamowały nadzieję na przełamanie tej sytuacji gospodarczej i społecznej, w której Polska się znalazła, ale dlatego, że ludzie tracili życie. Wojna jaruzelska nie była wojną bezkrwawą... kiedy otworzono ogień do robotników... do górników w kopalni Wujek – padły trupy. Otworzono ogień do demonstrantów, również górników Zagłębia Miedziowego w Lubinie – padły trupy. W każdej większej... demonstracji w Warszawie, Krakowie, Gdańsku jacyś ludzie tracili życie. Zaczęły się szerzyć zjawiska mordów skrytobójczych o wyraźnie politycznym charakterze. Lista osób, które w ten różny sposób w czasie stanu wojennego straciła życie, jest to około, zdaje się, stu dwudziestu osób. Nie jest to mała liczba.
The cost of martial law was huge and not just because, in my opinion, it halted the hope of breaking out of the economic and social situation that Poland was in but also because people were losing their lives. Jaruzelski's war wasn't bloodless. When the workers and miners at the Wujek coalmine were shot at, there were fatalities. Demonstrators were fired on, including the miners at Zagłębie Miedziowe in Lublin, and there were fatalities there, too. At every bigger demonstration in Warsaw, in Kraków, in Gdańsk, people were losing their lives. There began to be more killings by unknown assailants which carried a clear political message. The list of people who lost their lives in these ways during martial law includes around 120 people. That is not an insignificant number.
Cinematographer Jacek Petrycki was born in Poznań, Poland in 1948. He has worked extensively in Poland and throughout the world. His credits include, for Agniezka Holland, Provincial Actors (1979), Europe, Europe (1990), Shot in the Heart (2001) and Julie Walking Home (2002), for Krysztof Kieslowski numerous short films including Camera Buff (1980) and No End (1985). Other credits include Journey to the Sun (1998), directed by Jesim Ustaoglu, which won the Golden Camera 300 award at the International Film Camera Festival, Shooters (2000) and The Valley (1999), both directed by Dan Reed, Unforgiving (1993) and Betrayed (1995) by Clive Gordon both of which won the BAFTA for best factual photography. Jacek Petrycki is also a teacher and a filmmaker.
Film director Marcel Łoziński was born in Paris in 1940. He graduated from the Film Directing Department of the National School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź in 1971. In 1994, he was nominated for an American Academy Award and a European Film Academy Award for the documentary, 89 mm from Europe. Since 1995, he has been a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science awarding Oscars. He lectured at the FEMIS film school and the School of Polish Culture of Warsaw University. He ran documentary film workshops in Marseilles. Marcel Łoziński currently lectures at Andrzej Wajda’s Master School for Film Directors. He also runs the Dragon Forum, a European documentary film workshop.