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Katyn (2007)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | 21 September 2007 (Poland)
An examination of the Soviet slaughter of thousands of Polish officers and citizens in the Katyn forest in 1940.

Director:

Andrzej Wajda

Writers:

Andrzej Mularczyk (story), Przemyslaw Nowakowski (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrzej Chyra ... Lt. Jerzy
Maja Ostaszewska ... Anna
Artur Zmijewski ... Andrzej
Danuta Stenka ... Róza
Jan Englert ... General
Magdalena Cielecka ... Agnieszka
Agnieszka Glinska Agnieszka Glinska ... Irena
Pawel Malaszynski ... Lt. Piotr
Maja Komorowska ... Andrzej's Mother
Wladyslaw Kowalski ... Professor Jan
Antoni Pawlicki ... Tadeusz
Agnieszka Kawiorska Agnieszka Kawiorska ... Ewa
Sergey Garmash ... Maj. Popov
Joachim Paul Assböck ... Obersturmbannführer Brunon Müller (as Joachim Assböck)
Waldemar Barwinski ... Polish Officer
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Storyline

When the Soviet Union on 17 September 1939 invades Poland, Anna Aleksandrowna leaves her home in Krakow to search for her husband, the Polish captain Andrzej. She finds him together with other officers captured by the Red Army, but some minutes later he is pushed into a train, which will take all the Polish officers to a prison camp in Kozelsk in Russia. Anna and her daughter Nika is now stuck in the Soviet occupied zone, unable to go back to Krakow in the German zone, not until a brave Russian captain helps them to flee. 3 April 1940 Andrzej is transported from the prison camp in Kozelsk to the Katyn Forest, where thousands of Polish officers are killed. In 1943 the Germans capture this area and find the mass graves. 13 April 1943 they start announcing the names of the identified corpses through loudspeakers in Krakow. Anna is happy that Andrzej is not in any of the Katyn lists, which gives her some hope. 18 January 1945 the Red Army liberates Krakow from the Nazis. The Russians ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The untold story of the crime Stalin could not hide.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Poland

Language:

Polish | Russian | German | Ukrainian

Release Date:

21 September 2007 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Massaker von Katyn See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

PLN 15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,053, 22 February 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$118,095, 19 April 2015

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,723,313, 19 April 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| |

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the personal story in the film is a fictionalised one, the history against which it was set is very real, and is a terrible part of Polish war history. Approximately 22,000 people were murdered by the Soviets during April and May of 1940 after their occupation of eastern Poland. Of those victims, about 14,000 were Polish military officers or police, while the remaining victims were educated professionals and community leaders. They were considered to be "intelligentsia" by the Soviet occupiers, and therefore dangerous to both the regime and Communist ideology. Their bodies were buried in mass graves in various locations, but the first graves were discovered in the Katyn Forest by the Germans and revealed to the world after their invasion of Russia. This is the origin of the name of the Katyn Massacre. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene depicting the Polish officers in the Soviet POW camp, the subtitles in both Polish and English incorrectly give the location of the camp as "Kozielsk", USSR. This is a mistake. Kozielsk is a small village in Poland, but the historical camp where the Polish POWs were sent by the Soviets was outside the town of Kozelsk in Kozelsky Oblast, USSR. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Andrzej Wajda: Let's Shoot! (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 4, Part 1 - Adagio
Written by Krzysztof Penderecki
Performed by Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth the Pain You May Feel
27 February 2010 | by Danusha_GoskaSee all my reviews

I watched "Katyn" on a home computer screen. Even in that limited format, "Katyn" had an impact on me comparable to such cinematic greats as "Lawrence of Arabia." I cried throughout most of the film. I resolved that many of my relationships would be different. I remembered people I had known who reminded me of characters in the movie. After the film ended, I felt that I could not listen to the radio or read the newspaper or listen to anyone speak. I just needed to allow the film to sink into me.

Naysayers have critiqued "Katyn" as boring and dull. If you need a film to depict war, occupation, and atrocity as shiny, compact, and compelling as a sports car, then you should listen to those naysayers; don't watch "Katyn," rather, watch the very silly, teen fanboy-friendly Quentin Tarantino flic, "Inglorious Bastards." If you've seen enough Hollywood productions jam-packed with sexy Nazis and happy endings, and you want to take in a film that dares to depict, in eyeblinks, what war, atrocity, and occupation looked like and felt like to real people, then by all means see "Katyn." One of the many features that I admired: "Katyn"'s Nazis are not sexy. They are not Tom Cruise, Liam Neeson, Christoph Waltz. "Katyn"'s Nazis are brutal, repugnant thugs.

I respect this movie. There are too few movies about which I'd say that. It shows the courage not to attempt to weave an uplifting, feel-good atrocity narrative that leaves the viewer with a smile. This isn't "Schindler's List." "Schindler's List" is a very good movie, but this isn't that. It is, rather, very much like what World War Two and the subsequent Soviet occupation sounded like to me when I listened to my own older friends and relatives, who lived through both. This is disjointed narrative, stories that seem headed for redemption or even ecstasy but that end in random death, that end in aborted normalcy, aborted joy, aborted meaning. I felt, in watching these cold, pale, stoic characters, as if I were, once again, sitting across the table from older Eastern European friends and relatives. Yes, that's what they looked like. Yes, those are the facial expressions they assumed when they talked about the uncle who was rounded up and never heard from again, the daring, handsome lad who ended up in a mass grave – or when they pointedly did *not* talk about these people. The gravestone whose inscription dares to tell the truth; the tearing down of a propaganda poster; the Red Army soldier who struggles to do the right thing by a widow, who won't yet admit that she is a widow; the singing of exactly the right Christmas carol at exactly the right moment: those are exactly the heroic gestures that no one ever saw, that went unrecorded, that only one person lived to tell about, to tell me. Here they are, on screen.

When a movie is named "Katyn" the viewer knows how it will end; it's kind of like a movie named "Auschwitz" or "Kolyma" or "Wounded Knee." There isn't going to be a surprise ending. I was still surprised by the ending, by how courageous and moving I found it. Once again, Andrzej Wajda managed to wow the film-goer in me. And he managed to move the human in me.

See "Katyn." See a movie you can respect, a movie that is worth your time.


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