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Re: [Kresy-Siberia] "The Lost Requiem" film on Polish refugees in Iran resurfaces

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  • MARIE GAFFNEY
    STEFAN: 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
    Message 1 of 31 , Dec 3, 2007
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      STEFAN:

      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
      God!

      And if you hear of it airing on TV Polonia, let us
      know too!

      BOZENA - Florida, USA

      --- Stefan Wisniowski <stefan@...> wrote:

      > Some of you may remember the Washington Post article
      > about the Polish exiles in Teheran from 2000, which
      > mentioned a "lost" documentary film by Khosrow Sinai
      > on the subject.
      >
      > See
      >
      http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/polsirn.htm
      >
      > 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
      > Antolak.
      >
      > Stefan Wisniowski
      > Seaforth Australia
      >
      >
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      >
      >
      > The Lost Requiem of Khosrow Sinai
      >
      > Persian Journal
      >
      >
      > Articles
      > 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,
      > personally?
      >
      > 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
      > because
      === message truncated ===



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    • Stefan Wisniowski
      Hi Irene Have you received your DVD from Mr Sinai (and/or from Barbara Charuba) yet? If so, we might activate the Canada/USA distribution plans... Best regards
      Message 31 of 31 , Jan 12, 2008
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        Hi Irene

        Have you received your DVD from Mr Sinai (and/or from Barbara Charuba) yet? If so, we might activate the Canada/USA distribution plans...

        Best regards

        Stefan Wisniowski




        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Irene Tomaszewski
        To: Kresy-Siberia
        Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2007 10:10 AM
        Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] "The Lost Requiem" film on Polish refugees in Iran resurfaces


        For the record: I have written to Mr. Sinai and asked for a DVD, and for
        permission, including fee, if any, for a public screening.

        I will also buy the one Barbara ordered for me and donate it to the Polish
        library.
        Irene Tomaszewski

        On 12/3/07 5:40 PM, "Barbara Charuba" <charubab@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        >
        >
        > I think that Krystyna has the right idea here. I got in touch with Mr.
        > Sinai directly at his e-mail address which I found on the Internet, offering
        > to pay his costs for the film. I have given his e-mail address to the group
        > at least twice already (ksinai@yahoo. <mailto:ksinai%40yahoo.com> com). I
        > am sure he will be interested to hear from the rest of us. I watched a TVP
        > Program in October about his visit to Poland (where he gave a disc of the
        > film to Andrzej Wajda), in which he spoke in English. I therefore took the
        > chance and wrote in English and got his very nice reply in that language
        > which he seems to have a very good command of.
        >
        > Barbara Charuba
        >
        > Barrie ON Canada
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > ]
        > On Behalf Of Krystyna Freiburger
        > Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 3:53 PM
        > To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com>
        > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] "The Lost Requiem" film on Polish refugees in
        > Iran resurfaces
        >
        > Definitely count me in for buying the film.
        > I believe that as a thank you to Khosorow Sinai and the work he did with
        > this invaluable film, each of us that wants one should buy it rather than
        > copy.
        > krystyna freiburger
        > ontario, canada
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: MARIE GAFFNEY
        > To: Kresy-Siberia@ <mailto:Kresy-Siberia%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 8:39 AM
        > Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] "The Lost Requiem" film on Polish refugees in
        > Iran resurfaces
        >
        > STEFAN:
        >
        > 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
        > God!
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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