drama, war, history I 2019 I Poland
SUNDAY, 16/06/2019 6:30pm
Original Title: Kurier
Duration: 90 min
Language: Polish | English I German
with English subtitles
Director: Władysław Pasikowski
Writer: Władysław Pasikowski, Sylwia Wilkos
ENJOY A COMPLIMENTARY GLASS OF WINE AND POLISH DELICACIES FROM 6:30PM BEFORE THE PREMIERE SCREENING OF “THE MESSENGER” AT 7PM.
Commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, the largest resistance operation in German-occupied Europe, the Festival presents the Australian premiere of action spy thriller inspired by true events - The Messenger (AKA Kurier).
The Messenger tells the incredible true story of a real-life superhero – the legendary Courier from Warsaw, a Polish spy whose lonely mission was to decide the fate of Poland and World War II.
The new film by Władysław Pasikowski, director of hit movies Jack Strong and Pitbull. The Last Dog, is an action spy thriller inspired by secret missions of the famous Courier from Warsaw, Jan Nowak-Jeziorański. Pursued by hostile intelligence agencies, he became the Courier of the Chief Commander of Poland’s AK Home Army resistance and the Polish Government in Exile in London. As a messenger, he carried top secret information between Warsaw and London. He travelled through German occupied Europe a number of times, narrowly escaping capture. In England he met with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, providing reports on the situation in occupied Poland. During one of his missions in July 1944, he returned to Warsaw only a few days before the Warsaw Uprising broke out. During the Uprising he took an active part in fighting the Germans and also set up a radio station that maintained contact with Allied countries through daily broadcasts in Polish and English. After the Warsaw Uprising he managed to return to England while carrying microfilms documenting the 63 day struggle. His life is marked by courage and integrity and reflects the dramatic history of Poland.
In the last days of July 1944 Home Army commanders in Warsaw are secretly deliberating whether to start a military uprising against the Germans. The key information is still missing - will Great Britain support an uprising with air drops and by sending a highly trained unit composed of Polish troops who had taken refuge in the UK and wanted to help the Poles at home in their struggle. The dangerous mission to travel from London to German-occupied Warsaw to deliver the crucial news to the Home Army is entrusted to the underground messenger, Jan Nowak (Philippe Tłokiński). Delayed by a series of unforeseen events and with the Gestapo trying to intercept him at all costs, Nowak must get back to Warsaw and inform Polish Commanders about Winston Churchill's refusal to assist its ally before the irreversible decision on uprising is made.
The year 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, the most significant World War II resistance operation against Germany.
Initially intended to last a few days, it continued for over two months before it was brutally suppressed. Commanded by the Home Army’s General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski, the uprising was intended to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. It started on 1 August and within three days Polish resistance gained control of most of the city. The Germans sent in reinforcements and forced the Poles into defensive positions, bombarding them for the next 63 days.
With Great Britain refusing to assist its first ally and with no support from US or the Soviet Army, the latter concerned that Polish Resistance may lay the foundations for an independent post-war Poland, Bór-Komorowski was eventually forced to surrender. Warsaw could have been one of the first European capitals to be liberated, but military miscalculations and global superpower politics turned the dice against it.
The Warsaw Uprising claimed the lives of about 18,000 insurgents and around 200,000 civilians. After the Uprising collapsed the remaining 500,000 residents were expelled from the city and Warsaw was razed to the ground, house by house. By January 1945, about 90 percent of the city was destroyed, as was the leadership of the Home Army that supported the Polish government-in-exile in London. Consequently, when Soviet army occupied Poland, there was little organised resistance to oppose the establishment of Soviet political domination over the country and imposition of the communist-led Provisional Government of Poland.