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report on successful UK Premiere of The Officer's Wife film

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  • Eva Szegidewicz
    Dear Group,   A note to let you know about the very successful UK Premiere screening of The Officer’s Wife documentary film by award winning director Piotr
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 1, 2012
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    Dear Group,
    A note to let you know about the very successful UK Premiere screening of The Officer’s Wife documentary film by award winning director Piotr Uzarowicz who came over from Los Angeles on 15-23 September.
    It was a very busy week for Piotr who arrived in London at mid-day on Saturday 15 September after a 10½ hour non-stop flight.
    Sunday 16 September - Sikorski Polish Club, Glasgow
    The Edinburgh Polish Consul attended and the Q&A session with Piotr lasted 1½ hours after the screening! Lots of DVDs were sold.
    Monday 17 September – Riverside Studios, London
    Organised with help from the Polish Cultural Institute. On the Q&A panel with Piotr were Eugenia Maresch (author of ‘Katyn 1940’), Anita Prazmowska (Professor of History at the London School of Economics) and Mirka Wojnar (Chair of K-S UK).  A packed audience of around 200 people attended including the London Polish Consul, Coky Giedroyc (film director) and Rula Lenska (actress) together with our very special veterans/survivors Rysiek & Czesia Grzybowski and Stefan Maczka. We were also very pleased to have our Directors Henry Sokolowski from Toronto and Anna Pacewicz from Sydney who were here on vacation. A truly international event! See attached review below (in Polish) which appeared in Tydzien Polski, the weekend edition of Dziennik Polski.
    Tuesday 18 September - Union Films, Southampton University
    Piotr was taken out to lunch by SOS Polonia at the hotel restaurant where passengers from the Titanic stayed just before their fateful trip. A long and interesting Q&A followed and lots of DVDs were sold.
    Thursday 20 September - Picturehouse at FACT, Liverpool
    The Manchester Polish Consul gave an introduction and sat on the Q&A panel with Piotr, the Deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Gosia McKane (Director of Merseyside Polonia) and myself. Before the screening Piotr was taken on a whistle stop tour of Liverpool where he saw the famous Beatles’ Cavern Club, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. See www.facebook.com/pages/Merseyside-Polonia/176585571743
    Friday 21 September - Manchester Lecture Theatre, Manchester Metropolitan University
    The Manchester Polish Consul attended again, gave an introduction and sat on the Q&A panel with Piotr, Jan Czerski (Polish Saturday School teacher), Jerzy Neisser (Director, K-S UK) and myself. Piotr was interviewed by journalist/photographer Joanna Dudzic. See http://musingfrommanchester.com/2012/09/24/a-successful-screening/
    Saturday 22 September – Polish Saturday Schools, London
    Piotr showed the film to over 100 Polish school children from two Saturday Schools in London who had lots of questions after the screening. See photo of Willesden School attached.
    In total over 500 adults plus over 100 children saw the film with a good mixture of Polish, English and other nationalities attending and from all generations. Everyone found the film moving and interesting and they especially enjoyed the Q&A with Piotr after each showing. Good contacts were made at each event which will hopefully open up some new and exciting opportunities in the future.
    Here are some comments which I received after the Manchester screening:
    I thought yesterday evening in Manchester went very well indeed. [Professor of Polish History at M/cr Uni] was very pleased and now she wants to show the film to students at the University of Manchester! (Director, K-S UK)
    As I said in the panel discussion I found the film impressive with a great deal of "food for thought" and will be forwarding the DVD to our family and friends (Polish/Eng language teacher at M/cr Sat School)
    I thoroughly enjoyed last night, I thought the film was excellent, and pitched just right to educate an audience that may not know much about Polish history. I'd like to thank Piotr & congratulate him on a cracking piece of work. (Recent K-S member)
    I really enjoyed the film and the discussion afterwards. The Trauma film group show films in the lecture theatre of the All Saints Building every week, but only a few people ever turn up - I'm sure that Friday's event was their biggest ever audience. (K-S member)
    Fantastic film. Absolutely wonderful! I said that I could easily fall in love with Piotr, fantastic guy also so brainy. I wish him all the luck in the world in all his future endeavors. (Member of SPK)
    Thoroughly enjoyed the evening and was pleased there was such a good turn out. An excellent film that makes one think. (English lady)
    It was really good and glad that it was well attended and good session of Q&A. (English lady)
    Special thanks to Piotr for coming over to UK and showing his excellent film.
    Big thanks to the Polish Cultural Institute in London and the organisations that helped provide venues across the UK - The Sikorski Polish Club in Glasgow, Southampton University Polish Society, Merseyside Polonia in Liverpool and Trauma Film Group in Manchester.
    Thanks also to the three Polish Consuls from London, Edinburgh and Manchester (particularly Manchester Consul Lukasz Lutostanski for his kind hospitality shown to Piotr and for his efforts now in trying to arrange for the film to be shown in Russia and across Saturday Schools in the UK).
    And finally massive thanks to the K-S (UK) team – Mirka Wojnar, Jerzy Neisser, Martin Stepek and Helen Bitner and our international team – Henry Sokolowski and Anna Pacewicz who each took part in different ways to make this whole event a truly successful and enjoyable experience.
    DVDs are available to purchase on line at www.theofficerswifemovie.com/ or if you are in the UK please contact me privately and I will arrange to post out to you.
    See more on Piotr’s Facebook www.facebook.com/TheOfficersWifeMovie.
    Best regards.
    Eva Szegidewicz
    Director, Kresy-Siberia (UK)
  • Dan Ford
    What is a Saturday School ? Is there just the one? Where is it held? What is the curriculum? Thanks - Dan Ford US
    Message 2 of 3 , Oct 1, 2012
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      What is a "Saturday School"? Is there just the one? Where is it held?
      What is the curriculum? Thanks - Dan Ford US

      On 10/1/2012 8:13 AM, Eva Szegidewicz wrote:
      > *Saturday 22 September – Polish Saturday Schools, London*
      http://thenews.pl/1/9/Artykul/113815,Russia-to-rehabilitate-victims-of-“Little-Katyn” Russia to rehabilitate victims of “Little Katyn”? PR dla
      Message 3 of 3 , Oct 1, 2012
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        Russia to rehabilitate victims of “Little Katyn”?

        PR dla Zagranicy
        Nick Hodge 01.10.2012 09:26
        A Moscow District Court will consider the rehabilitation of a group of victims of the 1945 Augustow Round-up, an event viewed as the largest Soviet crime on Polish territory since WWII.

        Memorial near the Augustow Forest: photo - wikipedia

        The application was filed by Russian human rights organisation Memorial, a body that has cooperated with Polish institutions on many occasions.

        About 2000 Poles were arrested in the vicinity of the Augustow Forest, north east Poland in July 1945.

        The arrests were organised by the Red Army's counter-intelligence service, SMERSH, with the detainees accused of having links to the Polish resistance.

        Some 562 of the Poles were never seen again.

        Memorial has already filed an application for rehabilitation concerning all of the 562 victims, but Monday's case concerns just 14 Poles, whose case was filed separately.

        On 28 May, the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation rejected the rehabilitation of the 14, claiming that there was no archival record of such a crime against the Poles.

        However, Memorial challenged this decision in a Moscow District Court, noting that at an earlier date, the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office had in fact officially acknowledged the arrests.

        In April this year, Poland obtained copies of archival documents in which Russia's Major General Gorgonov called for a plane to be sent to Poland “with a group of experienced counter-intelligence officers, to carry out the execution of bandits arrested in the Augustow forests.”

        The killings have been dubbed “the Little Katyn,” in reference to the 22,000 Poles shot in 1940 by the Soviet secret police (NKVD).

        The Polish government-in-exile in London had sanctioned the disbandment of the official resistance movement in January 1945, so as to avoid conflict with the Soviets, who were liberating Poland from the Nazis - which led to a Moscow-backed government being installed in Warsaw.

        Rehabilitation – which has been sought for the victims of Katyn for many years – normally applies to those who have been unjustly sentenced in court.

        The process would clear the victims of any stain on their honour under Russian law. (nh)

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