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Hear My Cry at the International Film Festival Rotterdam

2019/01/30

 During this year’s IFFR, running from January 23 to February 3, there will be two screenings of Maciej Drygas’ documentary Hear My Cry (1991), which was remastered, colour-corrected and mastered by Fixafilm.

The film describes the events of September 8, 1968, when Ryszard Siwiec set himself alight during a harvest festival at Warsaw’s Tenth Anniversary Stadium, in protest against the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops, including Polish units. Unfortunately, Polish and world media remained silent about the incident for a long time, and Poland’s communist authorities did everything possible to cover up the affair.

Only many years later did it become possible to publicise this episode and the message left by Siwiec: “People who may still harbour a spark of humanity and human feelings inside them – come to your senses! Hear my cry, the cry of a ordinary, grey man, a son of a nation that loved its own and others’ freedom above all else, above its own life – come to your senses! It is still not too late!”

In 1991, director Maciej Drygas decided to share Ryszard Siwiec’s untold story with the world, and made the documentary Hear My Cry. It includes a seven-second recording of Siwiec on fire, which had been stored in the Polish Film Chronicle newsreel archives.

We should mention that Ryszard Siwiec was posthumously awarded some of the highest Polish, Czech and Slovak honours, and streets in Warsaw and Prague have been named after him. 

 
 

Who Will Write Our History in cinemas all over the world!

2019/01/25

 To mark this year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, January 27, there will be worldwide screenings of Roberta Grossman’s dramatised documentary Who Will Write Our History. The film will be presented in 49 countries and eight languages, and Polish audiences will have a chance to see it too (for a full list of cinemas and show times, see http://whowillwriteourhistory.com/1-27-event-screenings/ ).

Who Will Write Our History is a unique film about the clandestine activities of the Oyneg Shabes organisation that documented the lives (and eventual extermination) of the Jewish community in the Warsaw Ghetto. Hundreds of thousands of letters, photographs, reports and recollections buried deep underground in metal boxes – such was the legacy they left behind in the hope that the world would not forget about them and the crimes that had been committed. The Oyneg Shabes Archive became one of the most valuable sources of information on the lives of the ghetto’s residents. Today, still only around two-thirds of the hidden documents have ever been found.

Who Will Write Our History contains a scripted section (which adapts the eponymous book), plus interviews with historians, and archive footage restored by the Fixafilm team. Fixafilm also did some highly complex colour-correction for this project, requiring additional procedures to age the image and ensure the best possible experience and compositing of several dozen greenscreen shots.

The whole venture was executive-produced by Nancy Spielberg, and includes the voices of three-time Oscar nominee Joan Allen and Oscar-winner Adrien Brody. Who Will Write Our History is a Polish–US co-production, involving Katahdin Productions in America and Match&Spark in Poland. 

For more information, see: http://whowillwriteourhistory.com