June 16, 2010 • Wednesday, 7:30 pm

'The lost Requiem'

Polish Film Club OKO invites everyone to the screening of the documentary "The Lost Requiem" by Khosrow Sinai (DVD 1980, 80 minutes. In Farsi with English subtitles)

The film tells the story of the World War 2 era Poles coming to Persia from the Soviet gulag camps in Siberia. The filmmaker follows the life of several individuals, while describing the general fate of several hundred thousand former Polish prisoners. Introduction: Roxanne Emadi; discussion after the film.


It turned out to be rather large 'club' - there is obviously a hunger for this kind of information, because we had the house packed. Several former Siberian exiles came, some of their family, friends and many people simply interested in the stories of people deported to Siberia during the WW2. While the fate of the people whose lands were occupied by Hitler is generally well known, because it was part of the larger war narrative of fighting fascism, the fate of the people deported to Stalin gulags only now is reaching general consciousness.

Roxanne Emadi, a young American journalist of Polish and Persian descent did wonderful, very moving introduction about the director and how the film came to existence.

We finished evening with discussion about the film around potluck offerings, consisting mainly of Persian type treats - sweets and fruits, probably similar to those Polish Siberian exiles were greeted with upon arrival to Persia in 1942.


  1. It was a great evening!
    I just remembered a scene from the movie regarding being greeted with fruit upon arrival to Persia. A woman was describing Persian people throwing fruit (I think mostly oranges) at the Polish newcomers, as gifts. This film is melancholic and somehow poetic; I think its strength lies in many interviews that illustrate warmth and authenticity of human ties between Poles and Iranians during those trying and difficult times.

  2. It is wonderful that the Polish Film Club OKO at the Polish Home in Seattle offers diverse perspectives. Khosrow Sinai’s film, from an Iranian filmmaker’s point of view, is a priceless historical document of the Polish exodus from Russia to Iran during WWII. Read Ryszard Antolak’s Chicago Indymedia (Centrum Niezaleznych Mediow w Chicago) post:


    Years after the deportations, former refugees, now prospering in many parts of the world, when interviewed by the director, remembered the kindness and gentleness experienced among the Iranian people. Truly, from the ashes of death, the seed of life was born with the help of hospitable people.

    It was interesting to see how the Polish culture survived (Polish Catholic Church still thrives in Tehran years after the exile) and yet how it was gradually transformed-Anna Borkowska, a Polish refugee, who remained in Iran, now wears a black scarf and displays a photo of Ayatollah Khomeini next to John Paul II’s.

    Even more incredible, a member of the audience, screamed out surprised “Grandma”, noticing his mother in the footage. The Polish gentleman, with his wife, sons and mother, lived in Iran on assignment in the late 1970’s when the documentary was filmed. His mother just happened to be socializing with the Polish ladies featured by the director. It is a small world and we are all interconnected in amazing ways.

    A young Polish-Iranian-American opened the film. Another young American in the audience was inspired to write a book about her Polish-Jewish-South-American ancestors. Congratulation, Polish Film Club OKO. Your first screening was a great success!


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Polish Movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Since OKO meets only once a month, here is a list of movies in Polish, with English subtitles, available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Documentaries are not included. If you are into that genre, there is a ton available! Enjoy!