As a volunteer to Auschwitz, he survived hell, only to experience even greater hell later in communist torture chambers and die – we are talking about one of the greatest Polish heroes, Captain of cavalry Witold Pilecki. Inspired by his extraordinary biography, the film will be shown in cinemas from September 1.
Captain of cavalry Witold Pilecki was a scout, a participant in the Battle of Warsaw, a defender of Poland in 1939, a member of the resistance movement, a Warsaw insurgent, he also fought in Anders’ army. He showed unprecedented courage on a global scale – he volunteered to enter the German concentration camp in Auschwitz, from which he daringly escaped after 947 days. In a report written after his escape, he told the world the truth about the criminal activities of the Germans. After the war he was arrested by communists collaborating with Soviet Russia. Despite brutal torture, he never renounced his ideals or faith in Christ, maintaining his Christian dignity to the end. He was sentenced to death by the communists for alleged activities hostile to People’s Poland. In fact, however, the communists feared that he had knowledge of the infamous activities in Auschwitz of the highest officials in the government de facto under the Russian occupation of the Polish People’s Republic, including, above all, Prime Minister Cyrankiewicz.
“My task was to tell the story of an authentic human who once existed, had his dreams and desires, felt the full spectrum of emotions, joy, love and fear, a man who was put in an impossible situation and yet managed to keep his humanity. Witold had a beautiful, loving heart that he could listen to. He is a very inspiring person, which is why I decided to get to know Witold first, learn as much as possible about him, what kind of person he was, what his motivations and goals were. I wanted to see the world through his eyes” – recalls Przemysław Wyszyński, who played the role of Captain Pilecki.
The film tells the story of Pilecki in the form of flashbacks. From the individual images, during the exceptionally brutal investigation in the casemates of the UB (communist secret police in Poland), evoking the memories of this exceptional soldier and patriot, emerges the image of life faithful to the values he professed and the oath to Free Poland of the Captain, who basically until the end remained torn between his duties towards his homeland and family. A brave soldier and at the same time a tender father and husband, he faced tragic moral dilemmas. His character will forever remain in our culture a symbol of love, heroism and unwavering fight for the truth.
In 1990, Captain Pilecki was rehabilitated, and in 2006 President Lech Kaczyński posthumously awarded him the Order of the White Eagle. In 2013, the captain was promoted to the rank of colonel. The British historian Professor Michael Foot included Witold Pilecki among the six bravest men of the resistance movement during World War II.
See the trailer: