The story of a political coverup of the Soviet war crime in which thousands of Polish officers and citizens were slaughtered in the Katyn forest in 1940…
The story is mainly told through the families left behind as fathers, sons and husbands are transported east to prison camps.
In 1943 the Germans discovered the mass graves and attributed the atrocity to the Russians. However in post-war Poland history was re-written by the Soviets, the Germans were blamed and Katyn became a forbidden topic.
This is wonderful classic filmmaking from a master. Wajda had reason to be emotional about this film because his own father, a Captain in the Polish cavalry, was one of the victims of Katyn.
This film reveals a history that was distorted for political purposes, only acknowledged in 1990 by the Russians. Living with that revelation of the massacre in 1943 and later with the suppression of the truth was an anguish for many Poles, often a fatal anguish.
The power of this film comes not through the personal, although that is there, it comes through the tapestry woven by Wajda about that history, the exquisite recreation of the era culminating in a most dreadful and powerful final sequence.
An important film in many ways, demonstrating as it does the dangers of totalitarianism in any form and suppression of freedom of speech.
Ref : Katyn – ABC at the movie