Another triumvirate of titles is ready to take up residence in the 4xblu online store. This latest batch consists of Billy Wilder’s “A Foreign Affair” and Jacques Tourneur’s “Canyon Passage” (previously discussed here and here, respectively) and Andrzej Wajda’s “Katyń.”
“Everyone wanted to make this movie ever since Polish cinematography came into being,” Andrzej Wajda says of “Katyń” in the “making of” featurette on the disc. However, since it was based on the Soviet massacre of 20,000 men in 1940 (most officers, but many of them engineers, teachers, artists and other members of the Polish intelligentsia who took up arms for the war effort), the notion of doing it in Poland prior to 1989 was pretty much a non-starter and Wajda claims there was no interest to make the picture abroad.
Even after the demise of Soviet communism in Poland it took Wajda twelve years (and thirty scripts) to bring this most personal of projects (his father was among the massacre’s victims) into being. This was, at least in part, due to challenges of not only representing the atrocities that took place in the Katyń forest, but also exposing how the Soviets who ran Poland after World War II perpetrated the lie that it had been the Nazis who’d carried out the massacre. “Katyń is two things: the crime and the lie,” Wajda tells an interviewer in one of the disc’s bonus features. In a career that included such acclaimed works as “Kanal,” “Ashes and Diamonds,” “Man of Iron,” and “Danton” “Katyń” is regarded by some as Wajda’s his last great film (it was the last of his four nominees for the Best Foreign Film Oscar).