Kino Mania: Pokłosie (2012)

Starring: Ireneusz Czop, Maciej Stuhr, Zbigniew Zamachowski

Directed by: Władysław Pasikowski

Krakow Post rating: 4/5

Although quiet for a decade, nobody believed that Władysław Pasikowski would give up directing feature films for good following the poor reviews of his gangster movie Reich (2001). During this break, Pasikowski has kept his directorial muscles in shape with the Polish crime series The Cop before scripting the highly unsatisfying Hans Kloss: More at Stake than Death (2012).

With a hint of intellectual snobbery, he is often branded  a ‘talented artisan’ by Polish critics, but Pasikowski has finally succeeded in completing his long-awaited feature inspired to the 1942 Jedwabne pogrom, erroneously attributed to the Nazis. Pasikowski was inspired by the domestic reaction to the book Neighbours, by Jan Tomasz Gross, which re-assigned the responsibility for the massacres to Poles.

Pokłosie (Aftermath, 2012) deals with the attempt made by two brothers Jozek (Maciej Stuhr) and Franciszek (Ireneusz Czop) to break the conspiracy of silence among the residents of a fictional village where a Jedwabne-style massacre had taken place. “We already have a huge number of films on the horrors committed by the Soviets and the Germans, and it’s time to say what terrible things we did ourselves,” said Pasikowski.

On another level, the tormented relationship and lack of mutual understanding between Jozek and Franciszek in their search for the truth can be read as metaphor for the Polish-Polish war. Enhanced by the warm smoothness of Paweł Edelman’s cinematography, Pokłosie smacks of the best Hollywood thrillers. On the other hand, the pathos of the mass-grave discovery scene evokes the finest bloodshed productions from Hong Kong.

Produced, among others, by Apple Film, Pasikowski’s sumptuous and disturbing comeback will reach a significant number of markets outside of Poland.

11 thoughts on “Kino Mania: Pokłosie (2012)

  • November 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm
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    That’s great. Now I’m awaiting a film depicting the behaviour of Jews towards their Polish neighbours in some town in Eastern Poland withthin the period of Sept 1939 – June 1941, when the territories were annexed by Soviet Union.

    So if we’re playing with generalisation, I’d be keen to see if the Jews back then were helping their Polish neighbours under the Soviet rule, or on the contrary, were they helping Soviets in compiling lists of the local Poles to be killed or expelled to Siberia?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_Poland_(1939%E2%80%931945)#Treatment_of_Polish_citizens_under_Soviet_occupation

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_repressions_of_Polish_citizens_(1939%E2%80%931946)

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  • November 20, 2012 at 2:22 pm
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    …your comment is awaiting moderation; since yesterday.

    Are you, Krakow Post people, afraid to release the voice of public?

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  • November 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm
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    @piotrus.pan your comment was automatically held for moderation because it contained more than one URL

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  • November 22, 2012 at 8:29 pm
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    The Germans are highly intelligent, Poles, or rather,their “elites” (who are intensely oikophobic) are the complete opposite. The proof-Germans make movies about, or co-finance movies about f.e the White Rose,about good Germans, probably they will start one day to make movies about the suffering of their expellees (of course, without mentioning the latters collaboration in crime like the volksdeutscher Selbstschutz).The effect? People all over the world know of the White Rose movement, which in fact was tiny and meaningless. In Poland, we have people like Irena Sendler (called sometimes “Schindlers unknown whatever”-again, Poles are not the measure, they are just compared to Germans, what irony!) or Witold Pilecki. Do we make movies (or better, Hollywood co-productions) to let the world know? OF COUSE NOT; THAT WOULD BE PROBABLY RASCIST OR CHAUVINISTIC! Pardon my yelling- but this is the other way round, meaning, we are exposing phenomenons which were commited by minorities why not exposing all the good things Poles did during the Nazi German occupation. The effect? Oh, nothing,really, only 25% of Israelis (according to a poll by Haaretz!) believe Poles were “as guilty as Germans for the Holocaust”. In France, I went to a synagogue- when they heared that I am Polish I was verbally abused as a “vile Polish anti-Semite”. Go to “Times of Israel” (American), search for “Poland” and see for yourself how Poland is written about, what comments are attacked to the articles. Actually, I would be better of if I were a German whos grandparents had been “working” at, oh, lets see, Treblinka during the war. And what does our government do? Nothing. And our institutions are paying OUR money for this. Its like people of Jewish faith donating money to anti-Semitic organizations-normal people wouldnt do that but apparently s.th is very,very wrong with the Polish nation….

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  • November 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm
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    As far as I’m concerned, we have this movie released and that’s it. There should be no more national masochism in Poland, in particular related to the Jews, with highlighting incidental sins of some village folk, and more appreciation of the honourable deeds by numerous ordinary Poles.

    Now it’s time for the Jews to look at their sins in the past. And the list of potential film subjects for Jewish filmmakers is quite long. My suggestion would be to focus on the Holocaust in Lithuania, with the highest casualties’ ration in Eastern Europe, “pogroms” in the Russian Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogrom), or at the Khmelnytsky Uprising in 17th-century Ukraine, where estimated 100,000 Jews were slaughtered.

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    • November 24, 2012 at 1:02 am
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      w it’s time for the Jews to look at their sins in the past- No,lets not commit the same mistake! What “Jews”? These were our own fellow countrymen,of Jewish faith.And of different nationalities-French,Italian,Dutch,yes,also Germans of Jewish faith were murdered by the Nazi German regime. Also, it is true that 40% of the Stalinist Secret Service (MBP,SB) had a(n Atheist) Jewish background (check IPN)-BUT this was because the Soviets were using whatever minority they could get (like communists,groups of people who differed somewhat from the majority), and in every group of people there are criminals-so let us not blame Jewish people/Judaism for these minority of criminals.
      Irnically, these people did not give a damn about Judaism,non at all. The progrom of Kielce was most certainly co-commited by the MBP to “show how anachronistic” the “old Poland” they were going to “liberate” had been.Of course, when it came to taking responsibility for their crimes some from this group (I repeat,atheists) all of a sudden remembered their “Jewishness” and fled to Israel (check Salomon Morel).This is an outrage,also from the viewpoint of Jewish morality.And I believe that people like Helena Wolinska (who said that Poland wanting to try her in a court of law was “the country of Treblinka and Auschwitz” and the whole thing was “anti-Semitic” [comment redacted]. Contrary to what true anti-Semites allege it is NOT permissible to murder anyone- from a Jewish viewpoint, [comment redacted]. Once again, lets not blame “the Jews” for people like here-they exist in every society on earth and are, thank G-d, a tiny minority.

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      • November 24, 2012 at 10:13 am
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        Oh, I forgot to add another potential topic for filmmakers, Jewish collaborators with Nazis, who operated i.a. in Warsaw Ghetto.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Jewish_Nazi_collaborators

        For example, a bit from the article on Judenrat:

        “Hannah Arendt, one of the 20th century’s most celebrated Jewish thinkers, made a dramatic accusation against the Judenräte in her 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem: She claimed that without the Judenräte’s assistance in the registration of the Jews, their concentration in ghettos and, later, their active assistance in the Jews’ deportation to extermination camps, many fewer Jews would have perished because the Germans would have encountered considerable difficulties in drawing up lists of Jews. (…)

        In her book, Arendt wrote that: “To a Jew this role of the Jewish leaders in the destruction of their own people is undoubtedly the darkest chapter of the whole dark story.”

        How’s that? A crime against own nation…

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      • November 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm
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        @Falek

        This is the third time this week I have had to redact or delete comments because they contained flagrant defamation or racism.

        Please bear in mind that this is a public forum and that you can be held personally responsible in law for what you say here.

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  • November 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm
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    @Krakow Post

    Excuse me-but have You actually bothered to read carefully what I have written? Also, the things I have written about You can actually check-not on some obscure sites,but on the website of IPN,hardly an anti-Semitic organization.

    There is no defamation-I have clearly stated that “lets NOT blame “the Jews””- Of course, some people of Jewish faith were criminals-but this gives no one the right to do the same thing some people are doing to Poles (aka some were collaborators=Poles are anti-Semites)

    Also, I have stated another thing-True anti-Semites sometimes allege that the Talmud allows for the mistreatment of Non-Jews.This is completely WRONG-so another reason for NOT blaming “the Jews”,like some people are doing.

    If You want to-hold me accountable for listening to both sides and for judging Jewish people and Christians by the content of their personal character (and not as “the whatever”).I know that I am quite cynical, but I really dispise extremist on BOTH sides of the debate ;-)

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  • December 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm
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    The film, together with the related discussion, reveals that there is a history which has largely been neglected by those in Polish society (above all, the Catholic Church) that should know better. The same responses followed the release of “Shoah” by Lanzmann. As a non-Pole (my hero is Jan Karski, interviewed by Lanzmann) who has been welcoming Poles to Northern Ireland for years now, teaching them English on a voluntary basis (in response to Deuteronomy 10 – a great Jewish book) I would suggest that no country (except the Dominican Republic) and no individual should even suggest that “the Jews” need to repent first before anyone else is willing to talk. Nearly all countries have blood on their hands when it comes to the Jews. This is amazing when one considers that most of the good in “western civilisation” actually has something to do with Jewish religion, culture and creativity. Poland may be a Catholic nation but my impression is that few people know the details of the greatest Jewish book – the Bible. That Miriam was a Jewish woman (who would not at all be interested in the idea of being a patroness of Poland – of all countries) may need to be emphasised in some quarters (amongst Radio Marya listeners, perhaps). The failure to recognise one’s own guilt towards the Jewish people (in Jedwabne, Kielce and in many other places) and to recognise it before the Holy One of Israel, the one true God, is an appalling blemish on any society and culture. Responses to the film by Pasikowski prove, if proof were needed (it is not, outside Poland), that Poles were no different to Russians (Katyn!), Latvians, the French – and even the British police on the Channel Islands who betrayed their Jewish fellow citizens. Recognition of, and repentance for this sin (and all the antisemitism of church history) is crucual if societies are to heal.

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