Hollywood-scale movie on WWII hero premiered

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda praised Władysław Pasikowski’s newest movie “The Messenger” (“Kurier”) about Polish WWII hero Jan Nowak-Jeziorański that premiered on Monday, March 11, calling it “a picture worth seeing.”

The premiere took place at the Great Theatre-National Opera in Warsaw. “The life goal of Jan Nowak-Jeziorański was a free Poland,” said the head of the Warsaw Rising Museum (MPW) Jan Ołdakowski during the solemn and reflective evening. It is the third in a series of patriotic featured movies that the MPW has produced.

The movie tells the story of Polish underground Home Army courier Zdzisław Jeziorański pseud. “Jan Nowak”, played by Saint-Etienne’s Higher Theatrical School graduate Philippe Tłokiński, on the eve of the Warsaw Uprising, namely August 1, 1944. But Jeziorański’s story stretches back far earlier, to 1939, when he fought against Germany when it invaded Poland.

When Poland was occupied by Germany and the USSR, Jeziorański took part in the “N” Action as part of which he distributed German-written anti-Hitlerist propaganda in Germany. He also travelled five times from Warsaw to London as the Polish underground Home Army (AK) resistance movement’s courier and an intermediate between the AK and the Polish government in exile stationed in London.

After WWII ended, Jeziorański started working for BBC Radio in 1948 and on May 3, 1952, he hosted the first edition of Radio Free Europe’s Polish section. He remained the section’s head for nearly 25 years. Afterwards, he moved to the USA, where he became a spokesman for the Polish cause. He returned to Poland in 2002 and died on January 20, 2005.

After the premiere, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said that the movie “is sad because it is about our very, very difficult history, about very, very hard decisions, tragic events and difficult choices. The movie shows the drama, the quandaries of the people responsible for the fate of the Warsaw Uprising… Poland and Poles. It is a very serious topic.”

President Duda also added that the movie “is well-made and a piece of good Polish cinema”, saying that more movies of this type should be produced and that young people should watch it.

The movie opens in cinemas on March 15.