The beginning of World War II in Polish narrative films

From the collapse of the communist system to the present (1989-2013)

Jarosław Suchoples

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    In September 1939, independent Poland was annihilated by a combined invasion of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Because of the part played by the Soviets in the invasion, during rules of the Communists in Poland, i.e. between 1944/1945 and 1989, the outbreak of World War II was a sensitive topic. Authorities imposed clear limits and their point of view determined what could be told publicly about September 1939. Although there were some changes to the limits of freedom regarding the presentation of the beginning of World War II, restrictions continued to exist until the end of the Communist regime. These restrictions, or taboo, applied to all forms of public expression. However, art directed towards mass audiences -theatre and especially film-were under especially strict supervision. Only the collapse of the Communist system in Poland in 1989 and the abolishing of preventive censorship removed those limitations. These changes were also reflected in filmmaking. It became possible to present all aspects of the beginning of World War II in Polish narrative film. Nevertheless, during the past 25 years, in the post-Communist era, few films made by Polish directors have discussed September 1939 including those aspects (i.e. the Soviet aggression on Poland) which were permanently taboo for Poland's Communists. This article presents these few narrative films made in Poland after 1989, which refer to the beginning of World War II. It also discusses their significance for the national remembrance of September 1939 and tries to explain why this topic was not quite popular among Polish film makers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRepresentations of War in Films and Novels
    PublisherPeter Lang AG
    Pages43-72
    Number of pages30
    ISBN (Print)9783653060928, 9783631669662
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2015

    Fingerprint

    Communist
    Poland
    Second World War
    Invasion
    Taboo
    Film Maker
    Nazi Germany
    Soviet Union
    Communist Regime
    Filmmaking
    Aggression
    Authority
    Supervision
    Censorship
    Art
    Remembrance

    Keywords

    • 1939
    • Films
    • Nazi Germany
    • Poland
    • Soviet Union
    • World War II

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)

    Cite this

    The beginning of World War II in Polish narrative films : From the collapse of the communist system to the present (1989-2013). / Suchoples, Jarosław.

    Representations of War in Films and Novels. Peter Lang AG, 2015. p. 43-72.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Suchoples, Jarosław. / The beginning of World War II in Polish narrative films : From the collapse of the communist system to the present (1989-2013). Representations of War in Films and Novels. Peter Lang AG, 2015. pp. 43-72
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