An American Film Portrait of Polish Solidarity in '80-'81
Wednesday, June 12, 2002 - Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Wed., June 12, 9 PM
on broadcast channel 56 (MHz, formerly WNVC))
Tue., June 18, 9 PM
on broadcast channel 53 (MHz2, formerly WNVT)
(Check local cable and satellite listings)
Washington , D.C.
When New York filmmaker Richard Adams was prevented by the 1981 crackdown on Solidarity from filming in Poland, he took advantage of the fact that many Polish visitors were also stranded in the U.S., including some of the very workers, artists, and intellectuals who had joined together to create a thriving civil society within a totalitarian state. The result was one of the only American documentaries to capture human dimensions of Solidarity which - though obscured at the time by Cold-War rhetoric, and a distant memory for most Poles today - have an enduring relevance for any society, including our own.
A commentary in The New Yorker summarized Solidarity this way, immediately following the imposition of martial law: "Solidarity was probably the most nearly perfect instrument for the expression of a people's will that our times have seen& Though perhaps short-lived, it may have attained the American ideal of being of the people, by the people, and for the people more thoroughly than we ourselves have."
A vivid, evocative, powerful documentary. - William Styron, writer
The title has deeper significance than most people initially will realize - but they will do so as they watch. - Zbigniew Brzezinski, Center for Strategic & International Studies
In one of the best films on Solidarity I have seen, Adams brilliantly evokes the way a social movement empowered the subjects of an authoritarian state to become active citizens deeply engaged in public life. - Jan T. Gross, Department of Politics, New York University, author of Neighbors
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