Polish Filmmakers Protest TVP Interference in Ida Broadcast

    Ida by Paweł Pawlikowski Ida by Paweł Pawlikowski

    WARSAW: The Guild of Polish Directors including Andrzej Wajda, Agnieszka Holland and Wojciech Smarzowski and a group of over 100 film critics have signed a protest letter to Jacek Kurski the President of public broadcaster TVP over materials broadcast before the screening of 2015 Oscar winner Ida that they claim “branded” the film with an ideological interpretation.

    The film was broadcast by TVP2 on 25 February 2016. The screening was preceded by a special short programme titled Around Ida consisting of a discussion of the film by a panel which included conservative film critic Krzysztof Kłopotowski, the new head of TVP Historia, Piotr Gursztyn and Maciej Świrski, who represented the Polish Anti-Defamation League. During the discussion, which was highly critical of the film, the panel mentioned that the film is anti-Polish and presents a "Jewish point of view". The short programme ended with information on title cards that said the German Nazis were responsible for the Holocaust and that many Poles helped to save Polish Jews. But the title cards were arranged in such a way that viewers could have been led to believe that this was part of the film say the protesting filmmakers.

    The filmmakers have issued a special letter stating: "For the first time in the 25-year history of the free public media in Poland, a film was branded with an ideological interpretation, presenting the viewer not with the film's story or artistic value, but forcing on him one, rightful interpretation." (see full letter below)

    In response, Jacek Sasin, member of the ruling Law and Oder party, said in an official statement " For the first time in 25 years we have a public television that is fulfilling its mission, I don't know what there is to protest about?  The fact that the commentary presented before the film, a film that can give the viewer a false impression about what took place in Poland during WWII, says that it was the Germans not Poles that murdered the Jews and that in Poland helping Jews was punishable by death?"

    The film, starring Agata Kulesza and Agata Trzebuchowska, was produced by Opus Film in coproduction with Canal+
    Cyfrowy and Phoenix Film Investment and has been distributed all over the world garnering many prizes and international critical kudos.

    Click HERE to read the Open Letter to TVP from Polish Filmmakers