Retrospective 2019

Akcja pod Arsenałem

Operation Arsenal
Jan Łomnicki
PL 1978
91 min

The Polish armed resistance movement during World War II is notable for two things. It was allegedly the largest underground resistance movement in all of occupied Europe, surpassing even the numbers of Soviet or Yugoslavian partisans. And it was definitely the most diverse, comprised of several well-organized groups, each created by different political factions, unified only by their desire for freedom from both the German and Soviet occupiers. Such diversity necessarily translates into unresolvable ideological complexity, which is perhaps why Poland never succeeded in creating a unifying narrative of their struggle, nor boasted a vast partisan film industry comparable to those in the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia. What remains is a still-sizeable series of commemorations of particular WWII episodes. AKCJA POD ARSENAŁEM is one of the most kinetic of them all and celebrates the Szare Szeregi (Gray Ranks) – armed urban Polish boy scouts – in their successful historical attempt to liberate key member Jan Bytnar and twenty-five other prisoners from the Gestapo in 1943. Jan Łomnicki cut his professional teeth on dozens of documentaries before directing this taut, anti-psychological action-drama: a sober and somber depiction of men at work that, in its finest moments, resembles the precise action cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville.

  • Ryszard Gajewski
  • Mirosław Konarowski
  • Cezary Morawski
  • Magdalena Wołłejko
  • Danuta Kowalska
  • Jerzy Stefan Stawiński
  • basierend auf Aleksander Kamiński’s Kamienie na szaniec
  • Jerzy Gościk
  • Igor Potocki
  • Piotr Hertel
Polska Studio “Iluzjon”
35 mm
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