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Solidarity Film Week

Friday, August 26, 1983
9:20 p.m. Return to Poland
Marian Marzynski 1981

A New Documentary

“Marian Marzynski’s deeply moving, very personal documentary of his return trip to his native land serves as a wry and biting commentary on life in Poland since the early days of WW II. Driven into exile by the anti-Semitic purges of 1968, Marzynski, a Polish Jew and former journalist with Polish television was finally allowed to return during the Solidarity period of 1981. As the camera follows him on visits to people and places he has known (“like an archeologist walking through bits and pieces of the past”), a history of his life slowly unfolds, and along with it a history and portrait of modern Poland. Visits to his grandfather’s village (8,000 Jews before the war, none remaining after), the nuns who raised him as a Catholic to avoid the Concentration Camps, and an exhibit of long-censored photos of Polish riots in 1956, 1968, and 1970 all evoke a distanced sympathy without being overly emotional. The narration is snappy, almost film noirish in style: ‘War was my kindergarten; my game was survival.’” Howard Besser

• Directed, Produced and Written by Marian Marzynski. Photographed by Jean de Segonzac. (1981, 57 mins, Print from Filmmaker)