1714 -18th Avenue • Seattle WA 98122. WHEN: THIRD FRIDAY of the month • 7:30 PM (usually, but check for details on each film) • Free admission

Our Mission: Polish Film Club OKO is a private discussion club, affiliated with the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle (a non-profit organization), and devoted to promoting Polish-themed film art in the Pacific Northwest through exposure, education and discussion - ALL FILMS HAVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES.

ATTENTION FEBRUARY 2019: OKO's mission changed to promote survival of the Polish language among the immigrants: we will still strive to show films with the English subtitles, but it's no longer a major priority. Watch each post for the info on whether the subtitles are provided. We hope you continue to enjoy the Polish Films!

See you at Kino OKO and thank you for being a film friend. OKO logo by Iza Turski.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays to you all

What can I say?  Enjoy the holiday season, before it expires. Andre  Rieu, the Dutch violinist and composer (born 1949) should help....  Back to the  films soon.

For music (greens sleeves, whose child is this) click here.


Friday, December 17, 2010

And now for the Polish speaking reader: 'Chwilami zycie bywa znosne'

Film about poet Wislawa Szymborska, literature Nobel prize laureate (1996), in 8 parts.  Below link to part one, I hope from there you can access the remaining parts.
Besides  that: Happy Holidays everyone. ola

Film o poetce Wislawie Szymborskiej, laureatce nagrody Nobla w literaturze (1996), w 8 czesciach.  Ponizej link do czesci pierwszej, mam nadzieje, ze stamtad latwo dotrzec do pozostalych  czesci...
Wislawa  Szymborska film

Friday, December 3, 2010

For the English speaking readers...

Sorry,  I have never found the English subtitles version for 'Czeski sen' or 'Angelus'.  So today an offering for the English speaking readers; a very interesting documentary  I came across a few weeks ago: 'The Century of the Self - Happiness Machine' in several installments on youtube.

It's a BBC production for public television, about the role of psychoanalysis, marketing and public relations in the United States. From Adam Curtis, the same director as 'the power of nightmares'.  Enjoy!

'The Century of the Self - Happiness Machine'

Go to YouTube for the subsequent parts if they are not showing here after part 1...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

As promised at the last OKO meeting: 'Czeski Sen' and more...

Something to keep you busy while OKO is on hiatus till January - sorry, couldn't find any of them with English subtitles; if you know about a copy with subtitles, let me know..

Delightful young film on YouTube, cut and pasted in 9 pieces. How is it Polish?  Well, it isn't, except for the Polish text read over the film.  But it's quite Slavic, and it could happen in Poland or anywhere - quite a gem.  Enjoy it here:

The Polish Book Club in Seattle this coming Saturday is doing a book by K. Kutz 'Piata Strona Swiata' ('The Fifth Corner of the World). While at it, watch this Silesian wonder, named 'Angelus' by Lech Majewski, a metaphysical comedy from Slask. I grew up there: in Myslowice, at the very triangle of three emperors.  My sister had a 'dzialke'-garden right at the triangle...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Alternative Film for November 17th: "WEDDING", 2004

It's a mystery to me who were the people who voted for Krauze's 'Debt', a close runner up for October OKO film, which consequently got scheduled for November meeting.  In private conversations I was told by several people who regularly come to OKO screenings that they are going to skip it, as it's too scary to watch on November evening, they do not wish to squirm before driving home at night.  Frankly, for the very same reason I was planning to bring a book and not to watch it myself (and view this acclaimed movie on some sunny day later).

I'm still going to bring 'Debt' on November 17th OKO Film Club, in case the mystery voters show up, but  I'm also going to bring a second film, ironic comedy titled 'Wedding" (Dir. Wojciech Smarzowski, 2004), and let whoever comes decide which film to watch.

Wojnar is a wealthy man who is marrying off his beautiful daughter Kasia, in a small town in present day Poland. Wojnar had to bribe the groom with a fancy car, since Kasia was pregnant by another man. At the end of the ceremony, the car is delivered by a gangster, who immediately demands the promised money and the deed to land from Kasia's grandfather. Unfortunately grandpa is unwilling to let go of the land. Meanwhile each of the workers at the reception demand to be paid, so Wojnar, who is very reluctant to part with his money, tries to haggle and bribe his way out of all the situations. Written by Will Gilbert

Here is 'The Wedding' trailer on YouTube.
Here a link to film review in English.
Here to film description in Polish, and a review,  also in Polish.

Posted 11/18/10.  Great meeting of friends to watch a movie together, but not sure about the film itself.   Described often as 'bitter-ironic' picture or a comedy, rewarded and noticed at festivals, 'The Wedding' didn't really won me over:  the formula of mixing too much vodka and never ending mishaps tired me fast and was all too predictable.  Also, the director didn't seem to like any of his characters, each and every one of them is ridiculed without any compassion for the life they were born into.  So why  spend the time to tell their story? Just to laugh at their shortcomings, without offering some sort of universal hope or redemption for all the lives born into spiritual wasteland?

I don't know, perhaps I'm just Polish movied-out... There used to be a time when Poland offered great insights and ideas in film.  It doesn't seem to be a case any longer.  Most Polish movies of recent times seem a big disappointment, and based on the idea on how it 'll sell out in theaters: Gory enough?  Gross enough? Funny enough? Will sell fast and enough? Please...

Fortunately, the idea of showing 'The Hourglass Sanatorium' by Wojciech Has (1973) - based on Bruno Schultz mind-blowing prose - came up during our meeting for screening in January or February...

So fasten your belts, we are back to good movies....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

OCTOBER FILM: 10/20  Wed. 7:30 PM
Dir. Andrzej Wajda, 1975

The film won October poll narrowly by one vote, whiff!  My own personal preference, so I'm quite happy about it.

The total vote was 18:
Maids of Wilko - 4 votes
The promised Land - 7 votes
The Debt - 6 votes
The White Soup - 0 votes
• (Unspecified) Other - 1 vote

Based on a novel by Wladyslaw Reymont (1924 Nobel Prize for Literature for Chlopi), the film is set in the industrial city of Lodz and tells the story of a Pole, a German, and a Jew struggling to build a factory in the raw world of 19th century capitalism.  Wajda presents a shocking image of the city, with its dirty and dangerous factories and ostentatiously opulent residences devoid of taste and culture.  The film follows in the footsteps of Charles Dickens, Emile Zola and Maxim Gorky, who gave testimony of social protest.
Starring:  Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak, Andrzej Seweryn, Anna Nehrebecka, Kalina Jedrusik and many more big stars of the Polish cinema of 70s - for full cast and credits go there.

Very interesting tele-disc made for the movie here.
Trailer (in Polish only) for the movie here.
Wojciech Kilar's Waltz music from the movie here.
Wajda himself writes about the movie here (+ a few reviews included)
Wikipedia article (in English) about Wladyslaw Reymont here - the script was based on his book.

Posted 10/26:

I read somewhere that the film's message was very acceptable to the Polish regime in power when it was made, and that the film reviewers were government-encouraged to give it high marks for the harsh portrayal of capitalist Poland.  I loved the film the first time around, when it came out, even though back then I don't remember reading any reviews of it - it was just a stunning picture to me, commenting on human traits, beautifully done and acted.  I remember thinking that it will be a hard to forget film, although its political message probably went right over my head - it was a common knowledge back then that Reymont, the author of the book on which the movie script was based, worked as a clerk for an industrialist about the time the book takes place (the end of 19 century), so I thought he wrote on what he saw: the moral and spiritual gangrene that can overtake a person who chooses to act on greed alone.  I also remember noting the workers' struggles and wondering if the class war is over. Oh, well:).

The film  proved so memorable, that watching it so many years later in OKO I noticed how many parts were cut from the DVD version; that I found very disappointing.   Nevertheless the film withstood the test of time: even with some scenes missing, it is still super interesting portrayal of the city of Lodz in certain historical point - when it was very linguistically and culturally diverse, and when Poland was actually off the map as a country!

And the music!  Did I mention the beautiful and haunting music of the film?  It deserves a separate post - not living in Poland for so many years I haven't have the chance to hear it often;  hearing it now touched me the same way as the first time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Importance of Voting your Heart out

Even if you don't plan to come and see the movie, PLEASE VOTE.

I'm getting considerable amount of pressure to choose movies for viewing, instead of putting them up for a vote.  As I'm reluctantly inching in that direction, I would at least like to be an informed leader/dictator (depending which part of of bossing you around you prefer), and know your general tastes in films:  Old? New?  Documentaries? Surprise Me?   So far I'm definitely not in sync, because I would never guess that 'Strike' would get majority of votes for September;  I put it up for vote because of the Solidarity round anniversary, but didn't think anybody would want to watch 2 documentaries in a row (our August film, "The Peretzniks" was also a documentary).

To help you vote I asked Asia in Poland (she is a film school graduate, and the author of the October OKO film choices) to share with us how she arrived at those four movies (from 309 Polish-themed films she looked up at  Scarecrow Video website).

Below is her response (English version google translated, slightly human-improved; why does google think 'Zurek' = 'Matthew Brown'?)
Truly yours,
- Future Benevolent Dictator

Wybor dostępnych w Seattle polskich filmow jest dość ograniczony. Przeglądając liste od razu zwróciłam uwage na dwa doskonale obrazy Andrzeja Wajdy. Pierwszy to "Panny z Wilka" - piekny film wypełniony niezwykla atmosfera przemijania. W jednej ze scen występuje nawet sam Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz. Drugi z filmów to chyba jeden z moich ulubionych "Ziemia obiecana". Preferuje wersje serialową, dłuższą, ale wersja fabularna tez  zachwyca.

Po wytypowaniu tych tytułów pomyślałam, że kolejne dwa filmy jakie miałyby wziąć udział w glosowaniu powinny mieć zupełnie inny character i styl. Tak wiec klasyka starej, polskiej szkoły filmowej zestawiłam z dwoma opowieściami, które możnaby zaklasyfkowac jako kino społeczne lat 90 - "Dług" Krzysztofa Krauze oraz "Zurek" Ryszarda Brylskiego.

"Dług" uwielbiam za swietna kreacje Andrzeja Chyry i napięcie towarzyszące oglądaniu. "Zurek" jest zdecydowanie mniej  waznym dla mnie filmem jednak Katarzyna Figura w roli głównej robi wrazenie chyba na każdym.

Myśle, ze dzieki tak roznorodnemu zestawieniu filmow widzowie będą mieli alternatywe. To co wyróżnia Klub OKO i jest, moim zdaniem fantastyczne, to fakt, ze klub tworza ludzie nie poprzez posiadanie legitymacji, a wlasnie przez możliwość wyboru filmu. Nawet jeśli uczestnicy glosowania mają różna wrazliwosc i gust to jest to pole do wspaniałych konstruktywnych sporow i dyskusji.

The choice of the Polish movies available in the Seattle is quite limited. Reviewing the list I immediately noticed two excellent Andrzej Wajda’s works. The first is "The Maids of Wilko" - a beautiful film filled with extraordinary atmosphere of transience. In one scene there is even an apparance the very Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz. The second film is probably one of my favorites, ever:  "The Promised Land". I prefer, the longer, TV series version, but the movie-theater version also delights the viewer.

After choosing these two titles, I thought that the next two films up for voting should have a completely different character and style. So I juxtaposed the classics of the old Polish Film School with two stories that could be classified social cinema of the 90s - "The Debt" by Krzysztof Krauze and “The White Soup” by Richard Brylski. I love "Debt" for the great creation of Andrew Chyra and the tension of the film.  "The White Soup" is far less important to me, however, Katarzyna Figura in the lead role makes an impression probably on everyone.

I think that with such a diverse choice of movies the viewers will have alternatives. What distinguishes the OKO Club and is, in my opinion, fantastic, is the fact that the people forming the club  do so not by having a membership card, but through  the power of choice of the film. Even if the voting members have different sensitivities and tastes it creates a room for an excellent, constructive debate and discussion.

Friday, August 20, 2010

SEPTEMBER FILM: 'STRIKE' - documentary (2006)

9/15 • Wed. 7:30 PM
Dir. Volker Schlöndorff
Like “Norma Rae,” “Strike” tells the story of a tough, resilient working woman who refuses to back down from her fight with the bosses. The difference is that in this case the bosses are not greedy capitalists but Communist bureaucrats, committed, in theory, to defending the interests of the workers. There is a delicious poetic justice in the way Mr. Schlöndorff, in telling part of the story of Poland’s Solidarity movement, has used some of the crude, effective techniques of Socialist realism to depict the collapse of socialism. He calls the film “a ballad inspired by true events,” and its occasional bouts of clumsiness and sentimentality are inseparable from its power.

Strike (click on the title for trailer) is a Polish language film produced by a mainly German group, released in 2006 and directed by Volker Schlöndorff. The film is broadly a docudrama. It covers the formation of Solidarity. The action centers around work and labor organizing in the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland.

posted 9/15:  After seeing the movie tonight:

Most of us didn't like the movie much:  too simplistic, different truth than we remembered, and overall rather disappointing.  But, BUT, very big BUT: most of os who didn't like it that much actually WERE in Poland where it all happened; so perhaps we are just too emotional about it, as it hits us on a gut level.

After we all spewed our bile Krzys, who worked in shipyard in 70s, philosophically noted that we, the Poles, never made a documentary film about Solidarity (except for 1981 Wajda's ' The man of Iron');  it took a German director to look back - a very good question why.

Then another viewer, Paul, who travelled 60 miles to see the movie, and WASN'T there when it happened, announced he thoroughly enjoyed the film:  he didn't care about little details (true or not),  liked historical perspective the film offered and was struck how labor movement struggles are the same the world over.

Apart from the movie:  the bacon/onion lard Iza  made for the occasion was awesome with pickles and bread.  There was a scene in the movie where the main heroine slathers the bread with something: probably lard... Somebody joked that the wine we had, should have been vodka... oh, well.   We also had some great home garden harvest tomatoes and cucumbers + super-delicious discussion.

Below a few related links:

• Volker Schlondorf Wiki-page
Interview with Volker Shlondorf (Reverse Shoot Blog)
Slant Magazine 'Strike' film  review

posted 9/12:  Article in Polityka 'An old friend worse than foe' (in Polish)
Interesting 9/9/10 interview with psychologist, Konrad May, attempting to explain negative emotions between old allies, Solidarity members, who now seem to fight each other.  Here is a fragment and google (not very good, but readable) translation:

Działacze „Solidarności” zawsze się różnili, te podziały nie są nowe. Mieli inne wizje Polski i walki o jej niepodległość: czy budować państwo bardziej liberalne, czy konserwatywne, czy szukać porozumienia z ludźmi władzy, czy raczej wywalczyć wolność siłą. Mówiąc metaforycznie: dwie grupy działaczy próbowały obalić komunistyczny mur, tyle, że uderzały z różnych stron. Gdy ten obiekt runął – stanęły naprzeciwko siebie, ale zamiast paść sobie w ramiona nadal okładały się młotkami. Dopóki był wspólny cel - sprzeciw wobec PRL-owskiej władzy – ci ludzie mieli wspólną tożsamość, pewne różnice ideowe schodziły na plan dalszy. Dziś niechęć do dawnych sojuszników, których wizja obalania systemu zwyciężyła, może być silniejsza niż do odwiecznych, pokonanych już wrogów. Część tych, którzy przegrali, może mieć poczucie niedocenienia. Nie potrafią pogodzić się z tym, że nie są uznawali za głównych architektów obalenia władzy ludowej – dlatego głoszą spiskowe teorie, piszą książki, udzialają wywiadów, gdzie oskarżają byłych kolegów o agenturalne powiązania. To wywołuje silne emocjonalne reakcje tych byłych kolegów. Nie ma się co dziwić, że potem trudno jest jak gdyby nigdy nic, usiąść obok siebie w eleganckiej sali na uroczystościach. Emocje biorą górę nad dyplomacją.

Polish to English google translation:
Activists' Solidarity has always differed, these divisions are not new. They had different visions of Polish and fight for its independence: whether the state to build a more liberal or conservative, whether to seek an agreement with people of power, or rather the strength to fight for freedom. Metaphorically speaking, two groups of activists attempted to overthrow the communist wall, so that it struck with the different parties. When the object came down - stood opposite each other, but instead browse each other's arms still okładały the hammers. Until a common goal - opposition to the PRL of power - these people had a common identity, some ideological differences came down to the background. Today reluctance to former allies, whose vision of the overthrow of the system prevailed, it can be stronger than the eternal, already vanquished enemies. Some of those who lost, may feel unappreciated. They can not accept the fact that they are not recognized as the main architects of the overthrow of the people's power - which is why conspiracy theories preach, write books, udzialają interviews, where he accused former colleagues of secret ties. It evokes strong emotional reactions of those former colleagues. It's no wonder that it is difficult afterwards as if nothing had happened to sit next to each other in an elegant room at the ceremony. Emotions take precedence over diplomacy.

posted 9/3: 'Strike' it is.
23 votes total:
- Nicos Dyzma - 6 votes
- Decalogue - 3 votes
- Strike - 10 votes
- Secret Garden - 4 votes.

Thank you for voting and see you all at the screening next Wednesday! What would be appropriate potluck food for the occasion?  The striking people of Gdansk probably had good old fashioned lard sandwiches...  I remember making tons of it with onion and fried apples - my arteries were grateful. Not.  But it was sooooo good on the fresh bread.  Anybody still has a recipe for lard making? I'll bring the bread and wine -  such an occasion, as Hanna said below:  '30 years ago some people in Gdansk decided to take a stand', and that is all that really matters, we shall celebrate them!

posted 9/2: the poll ends today, so far it looks like we will be seeing 'Strike'.....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

August 18, 2010 7:30 PM
The Peretznics

Dir. Slawomir Grunberg, 2009.  Here is the trailer for the film on YouTube.

The events of March '68 are still somewhat obscure in Poland. The political background is known, as are the film archives, and press coverage. However, little is known about how it was to grow up in Poland of the sixties as a Polish Jew, or as a Pole of Jewish origin. How it was to be a kid in the heart of a country still recovering from a horrific war, in a family severed by the Holocaust, and then to come of age and experience first loves at the outbreak of the disturbing March events. The experience of the 'Peretz School' pupils in Lodz in some way reflects the experience of the Jewish minority in Poland in the 50 and 60 of the previous century. It is the experience of adolescents nevertheless, who were much more interested in the Beatles than they were in politics. It was the latter, however, which caused for most of them to scatter all over the world, creating a peculiar phenomenon of a Polish-Jewish Diaspora integrated today in so many countries' identities.

The Peretz graduates' experience shows that though they were made to leave Poland, they never quite said goodbye, not quite to Poland and certainly not to old friendships. The emotions they show are not nostalgia, but rather a real part of their lives. This documentary is not another film about immigration. Nor is it a film about nostalgia for school years. "That school was our entire life" - one of the characters in the film says. "It wasn't just a school... it was a way of life" - says another. The Peretz school created a peculiar microcosm, where one could have a sense of security, but - most importantly - a sense of community. It was a common experience of the 'Peretzniks' that they were born in families affected by the Holocaust. For most, this meant not having any grandparents, or aunts or uncles, and often not having any siblings. The school was in some sense an extended foster family and an oasis, where our characters could feel like 'normal' kids.

This film tells the story of an exceptional family, which the 'Peretzniks' created for themselves in the heart of post-war Lodz, and which became perhaps even stronger because history made every effort to break it apart. 'The Peretzniks' is the first documentary, which addresses the complexities of Jewish existence in post-war Poland under the Communist regime.
“To our parents and teachers, and to the memory of our lives in Lodz” The Peretzniks

8/20:  A very interesting film, well balanced, moving, very warm and  funny, too, despite the fact that the reason for closing the Peretz School was rooted in horrid events.  The former students featured in the film are my generation or up to 10+ years older - it was strange to think about  their lot back then Poland, in 1986, when my life was totally unaffected by it all...

It is quite often in life that we live in the world that we think we know, yet some events pass us by, as if they happened in some parallel universe.  By the time I was able to think about 1986 on my own there was mainly the 'official version' which didn't make much sense,  while the people involved, who might shed some light on how it was for them, were already gone. Even all those years later, when somebody mentioned being a Jew who left Poland after 1968 I kept wondering 'so where is that story, from their point of view?'  But life moved on and snippets of the past was all to be gathered in conversations; so for me the film was finally THAT story.

It was fascinating to watch old documentary footage too:  by the time the party secretary Gomulka (featured in the film) reached my consciousness he was an old drooling party hack, with a touch of senility.  In the film he appears  in his prime: menacing, calculating evil man, who will say anything for political advantage, knowing very well  the effect it will have on some people's  lives and having no remorse about it.  And the whole propaganda machine that went with it:  people lined up to clap en masse during his speech to make it all more convincing;  pretty horrifying thought on how many haters of Jews that one speech must have produced (5 minutes earlier they probably had no feelings one way or another on the subject).

Completely off the main topic of the film: I  found  the aspect of homage to the old teachers very touching - to see the former students finding them and watching with them clips of the film on the computer...  How many teachers ever experience that, or even know what happened to their pupils?

Oh, and the skype interview with the director did happen:  Slawek was very courteous and generous toward us, and offered to wait until AFTER the movie, despite the fact that we connected coast to coast while his part of the country was already mostly asleep.  It was very helpful and much better conversation, than if we had it before the movie, as planned - thank you, Slawku!

P.S.  I've been alerted that posting comments on this blog is confusing (i used a template, know nothing about writing codes), so on the right side of the page, I included instructions which hopefully clear it up.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

July 21, 2010 • Wednesday
7:30 pm

Wszystko na Sprzedaz

Elzbieta Czyzewska, a great star of Polish movies and television of the 1960s, died on June 17, 2010 in New York. Film Club OKO presents 1969 film 'Everything for Sale' as a tribute to her.

Here is a video-clip from the movie 'Wszystko na sprzedaz' (this clip is in Polish only, but you can see the actress; Club OKO version has English subtitles).

Here is a link to New York Times 6/18/2010 obituary for Elzbieta Czyzewska.
Here is a link to Nowy Dziennik 7/15/2010 article 'A Step into one filmmaker's reality'.
Here is a link to Gazeta Wyborcza 7/12/2010 article (in Polish) 'Elzbieta Czyzewska'.

Inspired by the tragic death of the great Polish actor Zbigniew Cybulski, the film focuses on behind-the-scenes lives of a director and his actors when they are disrupted by the mysterious death of their leading man.

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Starring: Elzbieta Czyzewska, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Daniel Olbrychski, Malgorzata Potocka

Year: 1969. Run 94 minutes. In Polish with English subtitles.

7/25: This is the first time I saw the movie and overall i liked it very much, and found many scenes simply breathtaking; was also really impressed how ahead of time it was: everything for sale in 1968? In totalitarian Poland? And I thought life only recently became disgustingly too much about money.

The Poland I lived in 1968 was different than that of the movie: more gray, and nobody I knew trashing about in cars and helicopters, self-absorbed as the characters of the film. Does that matter or not?

So I wonder how 'ethnic' the movie actually is: would the average westerner realize the characters were 'above' the rest of us, part of some some art-financial elite of the time? Would they take the prattling of the characters seriously without knowing that the film was inspired by the actual death of Zbigniew Cybulski, especially that the death 'happens' in the film close to the end? Would they understand that some seemingly empty dialogs were unscripted, therefore really 'human', because the actors literally played themselves and their own reactions to the accidental death of their colleague?

How much knowledge of these facts helps in understanding of the movie? Unfortunately I mentioned none of this in the intro, thinking the film was self-explanatory, but maybe it wasn't, because when i rushed with filling the cultural context after the movie I saw several heads nodding with an 'aha' expression on their faces: as if they guessed what it was about, but liked their thoughts to be filled in with facts obscure from today's general knowledge...
We had 20 people attending, a bit too much for the library room: it was crowded and hot with head craning required from some corners... Note to self: prepare for screening in the big room, with a screen; we can always retreat to library if less than 10 people show up.

Friday, June 25, 2010

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.