Angela Merkel at premiere of "Katyń" in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended the international premiere of Katyń by Andrzej Wajda during the 58th Berlin International Film Festival. The audience warmly received the film.


The international premiere of Katyń was the most important Polish event at this year’s festival in Berlin. On 15 February, Polish filmmakers walked down the red carpet: Wajda, Krystyna Zachwatowicz, Michał Kwieciński, Maja Ostaszewska, Andrzej Chyra, Danuta Stenka, Magdalena Cielecka, Magdalena Dipont, Magdalena Biedrzycka, Kamil Przełęcki, Przemysław Nowakowski, and Waldemar Pokromski.

Katyń, which garnered an Academy Award nomination, is the only film at the festival whose premiere was attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel. She congratulated Andrzej Wajda on what she described as an outstanding film, that tells courageously about such an important historic event.

Among the other guests was Bogdan Zdrojewski, the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage. The Polish Film Institute was represented by General Director Agnieszka Odorowicz and Maciej Karpiński, head of international relations.

“I am glad that I managed to produce this film,” Wajda said at a news conference. “It was a forbidden topic; it could be told only after the collapse of communism. I wanted my film to show history, make people in the whole world aware of what war looks like. I would also like Katyń to be received as the latest picture from the Polish Film School.” He noted the first such films were presented 50 years ago, also in Berlin.

“For me, the most important thing is that Katyń is interesting for people who are not from Poland: that it attracts people in Berlin and the United States,” Wajda said. “Personally I can say that there is no better way to deal with one’s pain, than to tell about it. Now, I don’t want to produce films about war. I am planning something more calm, more reflective.”

Wajda called it “a beautiful gesture that Angela Merkel is a guest at the premiere. It is an attitude that can be a reference for others.”


Translated by Monika Miziniak | Edited by Patricia Koza