Panel discussion with will follow the screening.
About the Film:
A small village in the south-western part of Volhynia, former south east Poland, populated by Ukrainians, Poles and Jews. 1939. Zosia is in love with a Ukrainian boy from her village. But her father decides to marry her off to the richest farmer, a Pole, a widower much older than her and with two children.
The life of the village is altered, first by the Soviet occupation and nearly two years later by the German attack on the USSR. The following year sees the hunt and brutal killings of Jews. Meanwhile, although not supported by the Germans, the Ukrainian aspirations to establish a sovereign country are constantly rising. The tension between the Polish and Ukrainian neighbors increases and nationalist and fascistic sentiment growth within Ukrainians, in response to the Polish heavy-handedness. In February 1943 the OUN-B (Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Stepan Bandera faction) orders the expulsion of all Poles from Volhynia to obtain an “ethnically pure territory” within a future “free” Ukrainian nation state. Troops of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) attack Polish settlements and often equally ruthless Poles take revenge on the Ukrainians. Amongst this sea of hatred Zosia’s trying to save her children.
Asked if the vivid reconstruction of the events would not reopen old wounds and inflame long-standing conflicts, Smarzowski replied: “This film will not divide people. On the contrary, as I see it, this is a film that will bring Poles and Ukrainians together, and likewise the whole world in the fight against fascist ideology”.
Not Rated, but contains graphic violence.