TELOSscope: The Telos Press Blog

Katyn: the Event, the Book, the Film

Andrzej Wajda’s film Katyn, which is now playing at the Film Forum in Manhattan, examines the issues that are the central concern of Victor Zaslavsky’s Class Cleansing: The Massacre at Katyn, published by Telos Press. In stark, and sometimes brutal, manner, Wajda depicts the situation in Poland that led up to the massacre of Polish army officers in the Katyn Forest, as well as the subsequent deception employed by the Stalinist police state, which attempted to paint the event as an act of the Nazis. Reviewing Wajda’s film, A.O. Scott writes:

With elegant concision, the film explores both the events leading up to the massacre and its aftermath, following a group of officers and their families through the agonies of war and the miseries of peacetime under Communism, circling back to end with an unsparing reconstruction of some of the killings.

The movie should be of interest to anyone who has read Zaslavsky’s book, and will increase public awareness of the violence done to Poles and the history at Katyn. And, of course, the book, available here, is crucial background for an informed understanding of both the movie and the history of Communist violence.

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