Following JJJ's trip to Auschwitz I thought to write a movie review about Katyn, a movie about the Katyn massacre in 1940. The movie Katyn is a great movie that was nominated for an Oscar in 2008 in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Ever thought or had a dream of waiting for your turn to be executed? Well this movie takes you to that edge.
The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre was a mass murder of Polish nationals carried out by the Soviet secret police in April–May 1940. You can read more about it in Wiki with more detail and photos. Although don't read too much about it if you're going to watch the movie so as to get the most out of the movie and then read more about it!
Germans found the mass graves in 1943 but Stalin blamed it on Germans after the war. For a long long time it was a crime punishable by death if you mentioned any Soviet involvement in the massacre. It wasn't until after the de-Stalinization and in 1990s that history could be told truthfully and what happened in Katyn. The movie goes into this and tells the story from the journal of one such Polish officer.
After I watched this movie I really got a sense of what it was to be a Polish citizen and get caught up between 2 evil empires of Nazi Germany from the west and Communist Russia from the east. This is a story of Polish officers who had to leave their families and become prisoners at the beginning of WWII.
It is also the story of families who were left behind and life during a world war. The whole movie was written, directed and played beautifully which captures the viewer and overhwhelms you with emotions. The movie spans several years and it ends after the war during the communist Poland which in and of itself describes the transition of life from the old Poland into the new communist era.
At the time it appears that there were restrictions on what Polish Army itself thought its officers should do which made the choice for the Polish officers automatic and extremely difficult and as they went through the consequences of that decision and became prisoners they had a feeling that something dark is coming, only to realize it at the point of execution.
I think the movie could've had a little better cinematography, just a little, and a little less speed in passing time, again just a little so I gave it 4 stars reluctantly whereas it deserves 5 stars. I highly recommend this movie, it is in Polish with English subtitles and you can watch it online or rent the DVD at Netflix (Katyn).
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