30 January – 18:00 to 21:00 – BISR Guilt Screening Series – Katyń -Andrzej Wajda
Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square
In September 1939 the USSR and Germany conquered Poland. The USSR ordered that all the Polish officers it held as POWs should be killed. In April and May 1940 some 22,000 were murdered. The largest massacre was in the Katyń forest. Among the dead was Jakub Wajda, father of Andrzej Wajda.
The Nazi-Soviet pact collapsed when Germany attacked the USSR in June 1941. When the mass graves were found, the Nazis and the Soviets accused each other of the killings. The USSR accepted responsibility only in 1990.
Wajda’s film blends archive footage and drama. The film reconstructs the killings. It is equally concerned with their aftermath, with the attempted denial of history, and the need to bear witness.
For information about the Guilt Group’s work, see: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bisr/research/guilt-working-group.