Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wajda's War

ImageKatyn (Koch Lorber) - Now 83, a still-spry Andrzej Wajda has made his most intense and personal film, a fact-based account of the infamous slaughter of 15,000 Polish officers by the Soviets in the spring of 1940. Touching on the massacre’s lingering scars (its victims included his father), Wajda has created a searing big-budget epic filled with blatantly obvious touches: the opening reels show us an adorable lost dog and an adorable child crying, "Daddy!" as her father is taken away by the Russians. There are sequences that juxtapose horror and black humor a la classic WWII trilogy, Kanal, A Generation and Ashes and Diamonds, alternating with forays into conventional melodrama. Still, it’ll be impossible to look away during the stunningly-realized final massacre. Too bad Koch didn’t release Katyn on Blu-ray (it’s out in Poland); this release‘s must-see bonus features are a 50-minute Wajda interview and a 25-minute featurette of the director on the set.
originally posted on timessquare.com

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