Warsaw Rising: Second World War footage remastered for cinema
Footage from the 1944 Polish resistance operation known as the Warsaw uprising has been enhanced and remastered to create a captivating feature film.
10:11AM BST 21 Aug 2013
Rebels crouch behind barricades, dodging enemy fire. Rivers of fire belch from flamethrowers while women and children dash across bombed-out ruins.
The scenes are as riveting as any Hollywood war movie. But they are snippets of historical Second World War footage from the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, enhanced by modern colouring and sound techniques, and turned into the movie Warsaw Rising.
"We decided to do a movie, a project, that no one has done before us, meaning we treated archive material on one hand as an authentic record of the reality of that time. On the other hand, we treated it as a feature film," said Jan Oldakowski, director of the Warsaw Rising Museum in the Polish capital and co-producer of the film.
It makes for a mesmerising account of the fierce house-to-house fighting against the German army that began on August 1 and ended 63 days later with the insurgents surrendering, following the deaths of some 200-thousand rebels and residents.
"Warsaw Rising" is cobbled together from black-and-white silent footage of crews that the Polish resistance Home Army sent fanning through the city to chronicle the uprising.
Cinematographers hired by the Warsaw Rising Museum added coloration and sound that give a real-life feel, while modern editing techniques provide a polished, fast-paced narrative.
"We have a very unusual situation, we are building everything from scratch", said sound director Bartosz Putkiewicz.
The sound experts imagined what the people could have said. They recorded dialogues and all other sound elements, like side effects, foley, synchronic effects.
"The film material we are working on was created during the war, so these are true pictures, these are true people, they are not acting, so in a way we bring them back to life," Putkiewicz added.
The movie arrives in cinemas - in Poland and abroad - next year, before the uprising's 70th anniversary.
Julek USA Calif.