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Cold war spy Kuklinski movie premieres in Warsaw

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 05.02.2014 09:10
President Bronislaw Komorowski has heaped praise on a new movie about a Polish colonel who defected to the CIA in 1972, saying the hero of the film deserves to be honoured by Poland.

Actor Marcin Dorocinski, who plays Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, with Maja Ostaszewska, who plays the spy's wife. Photo: PAP/Stach Leszczynski

“This film, thanks to wonderful acting, and a script that's rooted in real history, will always make a tremendous impression,” Komorowski said at the premiere of Jack Strong in Warsaw.

“It's an extraordinary film about an extraordinary man,” he added.

The movie follows the career of the late Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski (pseudonym Jack Strong), who handed thousands of classified documents to the US between 1972 and 1980, before escaping to America.

Poland's communist regime gave Kuklinski a death sentence in absentia, and it was not until 1997 – eight years after the collapse of the Iron Curtain – that charges against the colonel were dropped.

“I think that after 25 years of a free Poland... we can say that Colonel Kuklinski deserves to be gratefully remembered by his countrymen, who live today in an independent, free state,” Komorowski said.

“I am considering some kind of gesture towards Colonel Kuklinski for the 25th anniversary of the recovery of freedom,” he revealed (celebrations marking the free elections of 1989 will be held this summer).

In the new movie, Kuklinski is played by actor of the moment Marcin Dorocinski (Roza, Manhunt), while the role of his wife was taken by Maja Osztaszewska (Katyn).

Director Wladyslaw Pasikowski trawled archives and interviewed CIA veterans while preparing the film, with scenes shot in Poland, the US and Russia.

Two retired CIA agents came to Warsaw for the premiere, and they gave a joint interview for the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

“He was honest, thoughtful and intelligent,” said David Forden, who first met Kuklinski in 1973.

“He was deeply loyal to his country, and at the same time he grasped that this country was not free - that's why he decided to do what he did, knowing he was taking a huge risk.”

Likewise, fellow CIA agent Aris Pappas said that Kuklinski was “indisputedly a hero.

“He was a man of great inner discipline, a man of principles.”

Jack Strong goes on general release on Friday 7 February. (nh)

Source: PAP/Wprost

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