„The movie depicts the character of Poles in Lithuania”. A premiere in the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius

Antoni Radczenko

A group of the director Romuald Ławrynowicz, the screenwriter Renata Widtmann and the producer Teresa Różanowska took on a daredevil task of depicting the outline of history of Poles in Lithuania as well as their cultural achievements and the most eminent people in the movie that lasts for nearly an hour. At the premiere that took place on Wednesday (April 24th ) in the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius there were many discussion, emotions and… grievances.

The premiere did not pull in the crowds to the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius. However, the projection was followed by a lively discussion about the movie. Some participants and also the people concerned had a grievance against the fact that particular Polish cultural activists in Lithuania have not been depicted in the movie.

The Polish ambassador to Lithuania, Jarosław Czubiński stood up for the authors of the documentary.

 “I do not have any Lithuanian roots, my family does not come from Vilnius and this land and people who live here have no sentimental value to me. As a person who came here, I have to admit that this movie is extremely valuable for the Polish people in Poland. The greatest value of this movie consists in the fact that it does not only document, but also shows traces that can be followed by every intellectually developed person who can also discuss the questions presented in the movie. It was difficult to choose eminent people and fields from such a wide range, but we always have to make some sacrifice. I am sure it is just a beginning” – the diplomat emphasized.

Of course we can complain ­– as we Poles usually do – that a particular person has not been shown in the movie, we can accuse or criticize, but in fact it is a good beginning. I believe this project will be developed and will take on different dimensions. This movie is supposed to reach Lithuanian schools, our fellow Lithuanian citizens who often do not really understand us, Poles. Thanks to this movie Lithuanians will be more familiar with the image of a Pole. I believe it depicts the character of a Pole in Lithuania. Let it reach other inhabitants of this country so as to enable us to break barriers and stereotypes together in the future” – Edward Trusewicz, the Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Culture said.

As the movie’s director Romuald Ławrynowicz said during a conversation with zw.lt, the documentary aimed to show “where it came from and what it is now”.

 “Indeed, the movie will be shown during the citizenship education classes. It seems to me that the students of Lithuanian schools, especially those coming from different cities, do not really understand why these Polish people or people of other nationalities live here. For this reason we tried to present the history outline as well as the observations of the Poles’ today’s lives” – R. Ławrynowicz explained.

He admitted that it had been difficult to choose the characters and a lot of eminent people had been left out in the movie because of the financial and time limits, among other things.

“We tried to present a pioneer in every field. The movie shows for example Adam Błaszkiewicz who developed scouting in Lithuania or Zbigniew Lewicki who was a pioneer of Polish popular music. Of course there are many other eminent people. Even during creating this movie a lot of young artists appeared. We managed to present a young band Will’n’Ska that definitely stands out among other bands. We searched for the most outstanding representatives of diverse fields” – the movie’s director said.

The documentary „The culture of Lithuanian Poles” is a non-commercial project. It will be put in a computer system of all schools in Lithuania, it will also be uploaded on YouTube. On May 3rd the movie will be broadcast in the public television on LRT Kultūra Channel.

Source: http://zw.lt/wilno-wilenszczyzna/film-przekazuje-charakter-polakow-na-litwie-premiera-w-dkp/

Tłumaczenie by Martyna Kołtun w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Martyna Kołtun within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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