1. “Ziuk. Young Pilsudski - Conspirators” historical series, Poland 2018, dir. Jarosław Marszewski

During 13 episodes we follow the story of young Józef Pilsudski and his closest friends - later prime ministers and presidents. The action begins at the time of the assassination of Tsar Alexander II and ends with an attack on a train in Bezdany. Unlike previous films and series, "Young Piłsudski" shows the Marshal not only as a national hero but also as an imperfect and sensitive human being.

The original story, a bit of humor, as well as interesting supporting characters, make this series definitely worth watching.

  1. "Independence" documentary, Poland 2018, dir. Krzysztof Talczewski

The story takes place in World War I and presents the fate of hundreds of thousands of Poles. Soldiers that are fighting among themselves in different armies have the same dream. They believe that this conflict between Poland’s old enemies will finally lead to the Greater Poland uprising.

Thanks to many years of work, we can see authentic photos from the 1920th, that have been subjected to digital reconstruction and colorization.
80% of them are materials that have not been known so far, which makes this work absolutely unique.

Photo: https://www.telemagazyn.pl/

  1. "Death of a President" Biography/ Drama, Poland 1977, dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz

The story is based on Gabriel Narutowicz’s tragic fate. We can find out more about the first Polish presidential elections in history and the circumstances that led to the president's sudden death.

Intimate and strong movie at the same time, that carefully recreates the atmosphere in Poland right after regaining independence. The picture has won the Silver Bear for an outstanding artistic contribution.

Photo: https://kinopolska.pl/

  1. “Volhynia” Drama / War, Poland 2016, dir. Wojciech Smarzowski

The picture is about the slaughter in Volhynia during World War II. The action begins in the spring of 1939 in a small village inhabited by Ukrainians, Poles, and Jews. The main character, 17-year-old Zosia, becomes a witness and then a participant in the tragic events.

The story caused huge controversy not only in Poland but also all over the world. However, 5 Golden Lions, many other awards, and great reviews prove that it is one of the most important Polish historical productions.

Photo: https://wyborcza.pl/

  1. "Katyń" Drama / War, Poland 2007, dir. Andrzej Wajda

"Katyń" is a movie about the Katyn massacre. The work of an outstanding director Andrzej Wajda, whose father died in Katyn, tells us about the mass execution of Polish officers ordered by the Soviet authorities in 1940.

This Powerful, personal depiction of wartime tragedy was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for the 80th Academy Awards. Much of the credit goes to the music of Krzysztof Penderecki and the cinematography by Paweł Edelman.

Photo: https://www.europeanfilmawards.eu/

  1. "Warsaw 44" Drama / War, Poland 2014, dir. Jan Komasa

The movie shows the bloody brutal reality of the Warsaw Uprising, the greatest tragedy that befell our capital. It is a story of love and friendship shown through the eyes of young Poles who are entering adulthood in the cruel reality of the occupation.

Spectacular cinematography and special effects make it a must-see, and the 4 Eagle Awards and 9 other awards and 11 nominations are yet another confirmation.

Photo: https://vod.tvp.pl/

  1. "Kanał" Drama / War, Poland 1957, dir. Andrzej Wajda

"Kanał" is a masterpiece of war film. The story describes the last days of the Warsaw Uprising. The company of 43 is trying to retreat through the sewer system. Despite tragic circumstances, most of the characters display a positive spirit, humor, and love of life.

The film became Andrzej Wajda's first major success and drew the world's attention to the “Polish Film School.” The Special Jury Award at the 1957 Cannes Film Festival is another proof.

Photo: https://www.filmweb.pl/

  1. "In Darkness" Drama, Poland, Canada, Germany 2011, dir. Agnieszka Holland

The wartime tale of the Holocaust was based on the novel "In the sewers of Lviv" by Robert Marshall. The main character is an authentic figure - Leopold Socha, a sewer from Lviv. Thanks to his excellent knowledge of the city's sewage system, he managed to hide fugitives from the ghetto for 14 months.

The story of an ordinary worker who survived the tragedy as a real hero was nominated for an Oscar in 2012.

Photo: https://culture.pl/

  1. "Cursed" Drama / War, Poland 2017, dir. Konrad Łęcki

The action takes place in the second half of the 40s XX century. The main character of the film is Franciszek Józefczyk, known as Puppet. After the war he became a member of the armed underground of the independence struggle against the communist regime.

The film shows how communism in Poland came into the lives of the occupied people and how it fought against the Poles who did not surrender to the occupant. The plot and characters are so expressive that they will interest everyone.

Photo: https://www.polskieradio24.pl/

  1. “Black Thursday” Drama, Poland 2011, dir. Antoni Krauze

The plot resembles one of the darkest pages in the history of the Polish People's Republic. It is a faithful reconstruction of the events that took place in Gdynia Shipyard in December 1970, which ended with the authorities opening fire on the strikers and innocent people dying. The main character also dies from a stray bullet.

The "Black Thursday" is not only a story about past events, but about something that affects our everyday life. It is a film about a crisis of faith and trust.

Photo: https://deon.pl/

  1. “Wałęsa. Man of Hope” Biography / Drama, Poland 2013, dir. Andrzej Wajda

At the end of our list, Oscar winner Andrzej Wajda talks about Polish history again. Together with Janusz Głowacki, the director presents the story of Lech Wałęsa, the first president elected in a completely free election.

This story about a husband, father, and a simple worker who woke up the dream of freedom hidden in the hearts of millions of people, is worth seeing - especially because it shows such a modern history!

Photo: Photo: https://zw.lt/

You can find these films and many more in the Polish TV Company film library!