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Private evaluation of A Generation


1968 in Polish cinematography
Andrzej Wajda Film-maker
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The events of '68 are disgraceful, when a large number of people involved with the cinema only survived because they found themselves in the Soviet Union; Jews, who would otherwise have died here but who survived over there, who had returned. Before the war, they had formed the cinema so it was not surprising that once the war was over, they had come back to it. All of the events of '68, which were initiated and stage-managed, anti-Semitic events, meant that most of these people had to leave the country. And I have to say that there was a nationalist group which had in its midst the person whose name you've mentioned, as well as others, who did everything to create a change of generations and to come to power, so that any authority in the world of cinema could be in their hands and they would rule. I have to say that it wasn't until afterwards that times became very hard for us, but perhaps I'll speak about that later when I talk about my film Korczak, because that's when I saw the most disgraceful act in Polish cinematography, when Aleksander Ford was to begin shooting Korczak in '68, the sets had already been built yet no filming had started, and the unfilmed sets were dismantled. I have to say that this is something that's deeply embedded in my memory and is the continuation of what we're talking about, but this will come later.

To jest haniebne wydarzenie lat... roku '68, kiedy po prostu w kinematografii zgromadziło się bardzo wielu ludzi, którzy uratowali swoje życie dlatego, że znaleźli się w Związku Radzieckim... Żydów, którzy tu zginęliby, a tam uratowali się i wrócili z powrotem. Oni tworzyli przed wojną kinematografię. Nic dziwnego, że i po wojnie oni, że tak powiem, do kinematografii się przyłączyli. Ten '68 rok... te całe wydarzenia zainicjowane i zainscenizowane wydarzenia antysemickie doprowadziły do tego, że większość z nich musiała wyjechać. I muszę powiedzieć, że tu była grupa nacjonalistyczna właśnie, gdzie był ten, nazwisko które Pan wymienia, i inni, którzy robili wszystko, żeby właśnie stworzyć, że tak powiem, pokoleniową zmianę i żeby dojść do władzy, żeby tę władzę w kinematografii przechwycić, no i żeby po prostu rządzić kinematografią. I muszę powiedzieć, że potem dopiero nastały ciężkie dla nas... ciężkie dla nas czasy, no ale to już osobno bym opowiedział przy okazji mojego filmu Doktor Korczak, ponieważ widziałem najbardziej haniebną scenę polskiej kinematografii, jak Aleksander Ford w '68 roku miał rozpocząć zdjęcia do filmu Korczak i były wybudowane już dekoracje, w ogóle nie zaczął zdjęć i te dekoracje niesfotografowane rozbierano. Muszę powiedzieć, że to jest coś, co dobrze utkwiło w mojej pamięci i co jest właśnie dalszym ciągiem tego... tego, o czym opowiadamy, no ale to są już wydarzenia późniejsze.

Polish film director Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016) was a towering presence in Polish cinema for six decades. His films, showing the horror of the German occupation of Poland, won awards at Cannes and established his reputation as both story-teller and commentator on Poland's turbulent history. As well as his impressive career in TV and film, he also served on the national Senate from 1989-91.

Listeners: Jacek Petrycki

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.

Tags: Soviet Union, Jews, Aleksander Ford

Duration: 1 minute, 59 seconds

Date story recorded: August 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008