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Actors' boycott

RELATED STORIES

Media boycott
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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Gdy siedziałem w więzieniu na Mokotowie, dosyć wcześnie do mnie dotarła wiadomość o bojkocie radia i telewizji, co zresztą wiązało się dla mnie z pewnymi takimi nieprzyjemnościami, jak to, że przez radio – na bloku szpitalnym jest radio – słuchałem osób, których bym się nie spodziewał, że będę miał okazję usłyszeć w tej sytuacji; ale niewiele wiedziałem na ten temat, bo jednak areszt śledczy w Mokotowie jest miejscem dużej izolacji, trudnej do przełamania, póki się nie ma widzeń z rodziną i adwokatem. Ze wszystkiego co wiem, po wyjściu już, to ten bojkot radia i telewizji odegrał kolosalną rolę moralną dla zachowania postaw ludzkich, dla zachowania nadziei na to, że ludzie widząc w tych, którzy podejmowali bojkot, pewien wzór wyrzeczeń i walki, sami się czuli jakoś zobowiązani do – w innym wymiarze i w inny sposób – robienia czegoś. No, od razu przy pierwszych widzeniach zorientowałem się, że największymi autorytetami w tej chwili, przynajmniej dla Warszawy – tej części Warszawy z którą przez widzenia z żoną i z adwokatem Janem Olszewskim mogłem mieć kontakt – że największymi autorytetami stali się w ogóle aktorzy. Najbardziej umiłowanymi ludźmi dla wszystkich, którzy mieli przynajmniej jakiekolwiek sympatie do opozycji, stali się aktorzy. Dla mnie było to zresztą wielka niespodzianka to, że to środowisko się zdobędzie na tak szeroki i tak skuteczny bojkot. No trochę kłopotliwe było to, że też zaczęły mnie dochodzić głosy o czasami krzywdzących różnych posunięciach jakiejś mniej zorientowanej prasy, gdzie dziennikarz widząc puszczony w telewizji jakiś kawałek sprzed iluś tam lat, czym prędzej biegł do powielacza i ogłaszał aktora, którego zobaczył, kolaboracjonistą, gdzie może było wręcz odwrotnie. No, ale takie pomyłki, niespodzianki, głupoty zdarzały  się.

When I was in prison in Mokotów, news reached me quite early on about the boycott of TV and radio which was quite unpleasant for me when I heard on the radio – there's a radio in the hospital wing – I heard people whom I never expected I would hear in this situation. I didn't know much about this because while you're on remand in Mokotów, you're very isolated and it's hard to break through that isolation until you have visits from your family and solicitor. From everything I learned after leaving prison, this boycott of the radio and TV played a massive role in providing people with moral support, in sustaining the hope that when other people saw the example of the struggle and the sacrifice of those who were involved in the boycott, they would then feel in some way obliged to do something themselves. As soon as I had my first visits I realised that the most influential people at that time, at least in Warsaw – in the part of Warsaw that I could have any contact with through the visits I had from my wife and my solicitor, Jan Olszewski – that the most influential people were actors, the people best liked by anyone who had any sympathy for the opposition. It came as a great surprise to me that this group of people was capable of such a wide-reaching and effective boycott. There was a slight problem in that I came to hear of, at times, damaging behaviour of the less enlightened press, where a journalist would see something on television that dated back several years but would rush off to copy it and to announce that a certain actor was a collaborator, whereas perhaps the opposite was true. Still, these kinds of mistakes, of surprises, of foolishness used to happen.

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' Defence 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).

Listeners: Marcel Łoziński Jacek Petrycki

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.

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: Mokotów, Warsaw, Jan Olszewski

Duration: 3 minutes, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 15 March 2011