Friday, June 15th at 7:30: KORCZAK, a 1990 film by Andrzej Wajda

    Image result for korczak poster

  • Film host: Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady, PhD, 
    Adjunct Professor at the School of Education, Seattle Pacific University. Tatyana is a member of many international organizations including the Association for Moral Education; Comparative International Education Society; Janusz Korczak Association of the United States, and formerly, Korczak Association of Russia.  Thank you Tatyana! 

    KORCZAK   •   Unrated | 1h 58min | Biography, Drama | 6 May 1990 (Poland)

    Director: Andrzej Wajda, Writer: Agnieszka Holland.  Stars: Wojciech Pszoniak, Ewa Dalkowska, Teresa Budzisz-Krzyzanowska 
    In Polish with English subtitles, at Polish Home upstairs, Friday, June 15, 7:30 pm

    The film is an account of the last days of life of the legendary Polish pedagogue Janusz Korczak and his heroic dedication to protecting Jewish orphans during the war. Jewish doctor Henryk Goldszmit, known also as Janusz Korczak, is a man of high principles. He is unafraid of shouting at German officers and frequently has to be persuaded to save his own life. His orphanage, set up in a cramped school in the Warsaw ghetto, provides shelter to 200 homeless kids. Putting his experimental educational methods into practice, he installs a kind of children's self-government, whose justice is in a big contrast to what is happening in the outside world. Right in front of the school, dozens of kids are dying or being killed everyday and their naked bodies lie on the street unattended. Ghetto's mayor assures Korczak that the orphanages will be saved. Korczak raises food and money for the orphanage from the rich Jews. In the final roundup he refuses to accept a Swiss passport and boards the train to Treblinka with his orphans.
    New York Times article about the ending of the film that was seen as controversial by some viewers:  [...] Mr. Wajda argued that movie makers have a duty to leave their audience with something more. He said he never considered ending the film with its penultimate shot, which shows the train speeding away from Warsaw toward the concentration camp.
    "Such an ending would have said to me that all these endeavors of Dr. Korczak were sunk in a black hole; that pedagogy in the face of force has no sense; that no efforts of man can reverse the fact that he is dying so accidentally. This would be an awful, existentialist point of view.
    "There would have been nothing easier than showing the death of the children in the gas chamber," Mr. Wajda. "It would have been a very moving scene. Everyone would have been crying. But do we have the right, does art have the right to show this? Is art for this?
    "Isn't art for telling it in some different way? Art has to stop short of certain facts, has to look for other possibilities. It seems to me that it is beautiful that when we do not agree to the fact that the children were gassed, we create a legend that these children go somewhere, into some better world."[...]

    Official website of the director/film here...    Cannot find the trailer in English, or Polish, for that matter, but youtube has it in German:

    Image result for korczak film stills

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    Film club OKO will be on vacation all summer - no films till September. have a great summer!


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!