PLEASE put me on the list - that documentary film is
priceless!!! That would be such a treasure to have!
My Mother and I came across the Caspian Sea in August,
1942. Dare I hope to catch a glipse of her? Oh my
And if you hear of it airing on TV Polonia, let us
BOZENA - Florida, USA
--- Stefan Wisniowski <stefan@...
> Some of you may remember the Washington Post articlehttp://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/polsirn.htm
> about the Polish exiles in Teheran from 2000, which
> mentioned a "lost" documentary film by Khosrow Sinai
> on the subject.
> This film has recently re-surfaced, showing at
> festivals an even on TV Polonia. I am trying to
> get distribution details for anyone interested.
> Below is an article on this by UK-based Ryszard
> Stefan Wisniowski
> Seaforth Australia
> The Lost Requiem of Khosrow Sinai
> Persian Journal
> The Lost Requiem of Khosrow Sinai
> By Ryszard Antolak - Persian Journal
> Nov 25, 2007, 12:04
> There are gaps in our History, lost episodes
> in our collective memory caused not by
> forgetfulness, but by the deliberate policy of
> governments and politicians. There are also
> courageous individuals who fight to bring such
> material back into the public light. Khosrow Sinai
> is one such individual.
> Author of "In the Alleys of Love", "The Inner
> Monster", and "Bride of Fire", Khosrow Sinai is
> internationally famous for over a hundred short
> films, documentaries and features. One of his works,
> "The Lost Requiem", has never been publicly
> released. Sidelined and ignored for over a quarter
> of a century, its content has been deemed too
> politically sensitive to be shown. Now, at last, its
> official obscurity is coming to an end, and the film
> is being hailed as a priceless Iranian and Polish
> Historical document.
> A still from "The Lost Requiem"
> "The Lost Requiem" tells the story of the
> war-time exodus to Iran of hundreds of thousands of
> Polish citizens released from the Soviet labour
> camps of Siberia. During the two months of April and
> August 1942, leaking ships crammed with emaciated,
> men, women and children began arriving at the
> Caspian port of Anzali (then called Pahlevi). Their
> condition was desperate. Within days of their
> arrival, thousands had died from malnutrition and
> typhus. Of those who survived, the men travelled
> onwards to join the armies of the Allied Forces in
> Syria and Lebanon. The remainder (mostly women and
> children) remained in Iranian refugee camps for up
> to three years, their lives totally transformed in
> the process.
> Twenty five years after those dramatic events,
> Khosrow Sinai began to seek out those who had chosen
> to remain behind in Iran. Among them was a doctor
> who had fought at the battle of Monte Cassino, the
> widow of an Iranian policeman who had been a student
> in Warsaw before the war, and many many more. He
> travelled half way across the world to find some of
> the 700 Polish orphans sent to New Zealand from
> Iranian refugee camps. Their reminiscences, together
> with the many graves left behind in Tehran, Anzali
> and Ahvaz, bear testimony to a chapter of history
> almost erased from the public memory.
> Polish graves in Tehran
> When I talked with Khosrow Sinai recently, I
> asked what had made him want to produce a
> documentary about the Polish exodus to Iran.
> K.S. I happened to be in the Dulab cemetery in
> Tehran in 1970. I was there because the father of a
> Christian friend had died, and I saw the rows of
> polish gravestones, and became curious. As far as I
> remember, it was a priest in the graveyard who first
> told me about the polish refugees, and it became the
> starting point of my research.
> R.A. The film took twelve years to make and
> took you as far as New Zealand to interview
> survivors. What was it that kept you motivated all
> those years? Was there anything in this story that
> had special meaning or poignancy for you,
> K.S. What can be more poignant than destiny of
> a people who are thrown out from their homeland
> through the cruel plans of the world powers and
> politicians? The story has nothing to do with my
> personal life, except that for more than 12 years
> long I lived with it and could not complete it
> because of the political situation before (and
> after) the Iranian Revolution.
> R.A. During that time, was there any one
> person (or event) that stood out for you above all
> the others?
> K.S. I met many polish people who had married
> Iranians, or had chosen to stay and live in Iran.
> But two persons were most interesting for me: Anna
> Borkowska - because she was such a natural born
> artist - (today she is 93 years old) and doctor
> Filipowicz, whose father worked as a physician for
> about 40 years in Iran (Ghazvin). He himself was
> also for many decades a very well known physician in
> that city. The event which really shocked me,
> however, was the sudden death of the 26-year-old son
> of Anna Borkowska, who in my film seemed to be so
> indifferent about his mother's harsh destiny. His
> sudden death (through a heart attack), caused a
> radical change to the ending of my film.
> R.A. During the Communist era, no mention of
> the events related in the film was allowed in
> Poland. In the West, the subject was similarly
> "buried", as it touched upon the sensitive matters
> of Katyn, the Teheran and Yalta Conferences,
> Soviet-Nazi cooperation (and, of course, the
> Anglo-American betrayal of Poland to Stalin). Did
> any of these matters have any bearing on why the
> "The Lost Requiem" was never released in Iran?
> Polish graves in Tehran
> K.S. I really don't know why this film hasn't
> been shown for many long years in Iran or in other
> countries. Of course it has been shown at two
> festivals over the years, once in Iran, and the
> other in Sweden in 1986 (Immigrants Film festival).
> I think the reason that the film hasn't been
> distributed around the world is because of the
> carelessness and ignorance of people who should have
> known better and could have done it. But after years
> of waiting without a result, I have decided to do
> what I can to save this important Document of Polish
> and Iranian History!
> R.A. You were in Poland recently, where you
> met the Polish director Andziej Wajda. His new film
> "Katyn" tells the story of the mass murder of 15000
> Polish officers by the Soviets in 1940 (buried in
> mass graves in Katyn Forest and elsewhere). It is a
> very different film in style from yours. But in many
> ways they complement each another, exploring twin
> sides of a single story. Did you find you had much
> to talk about?
> K.S. Ever since I was a film student in Vienna
> during 1960s, I have been very fond of modern Polish
> films. So I was very glad to meet Mr. Wajda. He was
> very kind to me, and we agreed how important
> filmmaking can be to preserve History. I am glad
> that after 25 years, my film has found its way to
> the people for whom and about whom it was made.
> R.A. There are many who might say: "The past
> is dead. You can't change it. Stop obsessing about
> it. Leave it alone and concentrate on the present."
> How would you answer these critics?
> K.S. Please tell my critics this wise saying
> (of a Polish philosopher whose name I can't
> remember!): "that human tragedies repeat themselves
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