Sunday, 8 January 2012


Lower Silesia (a region of Poland), autumn 1981. After a series of provocations by the Secret Service, a confrontation of the opposition with the communists seems unavoidable. Just before introducing the martial law, on 3 December 1981, the young leaders of Solidarity decide to play va banque and organise a daring, yet totally legal action of withdrawing 80 milion PLN (the equivalent of an average salary of 10.000 people in those days) that belong to the Solidarity trade union from the bank before their bank account is blocked. The agents of the Secret Service dog their footsteps. An extremely exciting and dangerous game starts.  Each side has got equal chances to win….

I saw the film three days ago. It was an amazing and very moving experience. The film was about my hometown and about the people whose names I have been hearing  since I was a kid and was lucky enough to shake hands with (well, with one of them:-). The film was about four brave 25-years-old men who risked their life in the name of free motherland. After introducing the martial law very hard times came, loads of people were arrested, persecuted and made redundant and the money was used for helping them and their families get by. It was also used for organizing Solidarity Radio and underground press.
photo Jarosław Sosiński / dystr. Kino Świat
Polish nation owes these young heroes so much, but it hasn’t been always that they were treated with due respect. I’m very happy that the film restores the legend and ethos of Solidarity movement,  their ideals, values and amazingly strong friendship. “80 million” is made in such an excellent way that it also touches the hearts and minds of the young generation for whom the history from 30 years ago seems a very ancient and boring past. But if it hadn’t been for these amazing brave guys, who knows, what would Poland look like now….   

photo Jarosław Sosiński / dystr. Kino Świat
Unfortunately one of the brave men – Piotr Bednarz - didn’t live to see the film. He was a very humble, selfless and extremely righteous man, who paid a lot for being loyal to his ideals and people who had chosen him for their leader. Being imprisoned for a long time, they tortured him very badly trying to find out where the money was.  In free Poland he stayed in the background and never got involved in political fights. This year a plaque in his memory was put up in the factory building where he had worked for years and which was an active political opposition centre.  

photo Mieczysław Michalak/Agencja Gazeta
I do hope it will be possible soon to see this film also in other language versions.


janine mckinnnon said...

I'll look out for it in English.

Katarzyna Szostak said...

I've found out that they are working on an English version and it will be available soon. They are going to show the film at important international film festivals.