New Film by Jerzy Hoffman

Jerzy Hoffman will begin filming the next major Polish production next month. The feature Bitwa Warszawska 1920 will be the realization of a dream he has carried with him for years. This period piece will feature historical figures, such as Józef Piłsudski, played by Daniel Olbrychski, colonel Wieniawski, played by Bogusław Linda, and general Rozwadowski, played by Marian Dziędziel. Natasza Urbańska and Borys Szyc will play the film’s young protagonists.


“The Battle of Warsaw in 1920 was the only winning battle since the 17th century that was fought exclusively by Poles and resulted in winning a war,” said Jerzy Hoffman. “This battle secured Poland’s newly-gained independence for 19 years, halting the march of the Red Army through Europe, and forcing Lenin and Trotsky to give up on their idea of igniting ‘the flame of world revolution’. Because the generation that took part in (or witnessed) these events is now gone, and the official history of the Communist era tried to stifle the memory of the war of 1920 or depict it as a result of the Poles’ imperialist march on Kiev, I decided that this film had to be made, with the young generation in mind.”


“I would like to thank Jerzy for inviting me to work with him. I am glad that after 20 years I will once again have an opportunity to work in Poland,” said Sławomir Idziak, acclaimed cinematographer, who will face an incredibly difficult pioneering task, as the film will be Poland’s first project made entirely using 3D technology. The crew includes Hoffman’s long-time collaborators. The production designer is Andrzej Haliński, while costumes will be designed by Magdalena Tesławska and Andrzej Szenajch. The film’s history consultant will be professor Janusz Cisek.


Bitwa warszawska 1920 will also feature Jerzy Bończak, Stanisława Celińska, and Ewa Wiśniewska.


“The film will be based on historic events, but the plot and emotions will be based on the fictional characters of variety show actress Ola (Urbańska) and her husband Jan, a soldier and idealist with communist inclinations.


“This is a very lucky year for me,” said Borys Szyc. “When I was accepting the Golden Duck award, I met Jerzy Hoffman. I sighed and admitted that I would really like to play in his film. A few months later, he offered me a part in this film. I’m even more glad that I will be able to ride on horseback – it has always been a great hobby of mine.”


Jan’s story will depict the situation on the front. The difficult situation and heroism of the Polish soldier is based on the writings of Józef Mackiewicz and Stanisław Rembek.


The film score will be composed by another horse fan, Krzesimir Dębski.


Bitwa warszawska 1920 is scheduled for release in September 2011. The film’s budget is set at over 20 million PLN, with Bank Zachodni WBK as the key sponsor.


The story begins in May 1920. It is the second year of Polish independence, and the third year of civil war in Russia. “In a speeding armoured train, Trotsky dictates a letter to be wired to the Kremlin authorities: »Having disemboweled the main forces of the Whites, the permanent revolution is ready to be under way. The Red Army shall help the Polish proletariat in defeating the bourgeois government and establishing the Polish Soviet Republic,«” reads the film’s introductory note.

The film will be shot in Warsaw, Modlin fortress, Zielonka and Wesoła firing grounds, and in Lublin’s open-air museum.


Jan Bończa-Szabłowski

Translated by Karolina Kołtun