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First trailer released of film on black page in Polish-Ukrainian past

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 26.04.2016 13:24
The first trailer has been released of a forthcoming film that grapples with a rash of WWII massacres in Volhynia, currently western Ukraine.
Actress Michalina Łabacz, who plays the central character in Smarzowski's film. Image: PISFActress Michalina Łabacz, who plays the central character in Smarzowski's film. Image: PISF

Director Wojciech Smarzowski, who has dealt with challenging themes in the past, stressed recently that 'Volhynia' is about love in inhumane times.”

The film follows the plight of a young Polish woman who wants to marry a Ukrainian from the same village, contrary to her parents' wishes.

In the midst of World War II, the pair are caught up in a frenzy of ethnic cleansing.

The region of Volhynia, which had lain within Polish borders prior to World War II, was first occupied by the Soviets in 1939, and then by the Nazi Germans in 1941.

Between 60,000 and 100,000 ethnic Poles were slaughtered from 1943 to 1944 by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a guerrilla force that sought Ukrainian independence.

The killings began in the Volhynia region.

Polish guerrillas struck back, and about 2,000-3,000 Ukrainians were killed by Poles in Volhynia, and about 20,000 more Ukrainians were slaughtered when the fighting spread to other areas of Nazi-occupied south east Poland.

Smarzowski has said that his movie will not present a 'black and white' view of history.

However, being the very first feature film on the subject, the project has already attracted controversy.

The director is still collecting funds to film the last scenes of the production, although the release is scheduled for October 2016. The Polish Film Institute (PISF) has already provided the maximum amount that is possible for a historical film.

A frequent winner on the film festival circuit, Smarzowski is one of Poland's most noted directors. He made his feature film debut with 2004's 'The Wedding', and 'Volhynia' is his sixth film. (nh/pk)

The newly released trailer of 'Volhynia'

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