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Freedom Is Within Us
A film by Rafał Wieczynski
Seen by over
Poland in 2009
Focus Producers In co-production with IF MaxFilm SA presents A film cofinanced by The Polish Film Institute and Mazovia Voivodeship
Adam Woronowicz Zbigniew Zamachowski (Kieslowski’s “White”) Jan Englert Joanna Jeżewska Magda Kacprzak Krzysztof Kolberger Maja Komorowska
WładysłaW Kowalski Mirosława Krajewska Antonii Królikowski Marta Lewandowska Marta Lipinska Radosław Pazura Martyna Peszko Maciej Pietrzyk
Agata Piotrkowska-Mastalerz Cezary Rybiński Wojciech Solarz Joanna Szczepkowska Director of Photography: Grzegorz Kędzierski (“Avalon”)
Art Design: Andrzej Kowalczyk Music original: Paweł Sydor Sound: Maria Chilarecka, Tobias Fleig, Rainer Heesh
© 2009 Focus Producers Co. ltd Producer: Julita Świercz Wieczyńska Written and Directed by Rafał Wieczyński
The true story of the origins of Central Europe’s present-day freedom is recounted in this dramatic and romantic
film. The film reflects on the heady days of Solidarity as well as the shameful rule of martial law in Poland in the
1980s. It is my hope to draw the attention of today’s youth to this recent period in history through humour and good
entertainment, and to recall this good man who overcame his own fear and others’, and fought for freedom.
IF MaxFilm SA
cofinanced by The Polish Film Institute
and Mazovia Voivodeship
Archival footage underscores that this film is no fable. It has influenced the set design and casting decisions.
A wide-screen format, over 200 actors with 7,000 extras and lots of special effects make “Freedom Is Within Us.
Popieluszko” the first epic movie about the most dramatic and complex period of recent Polish history.
A production of
In co-production with
Written and Directed by
Director of Photography:
Grzegorz Kędzierski (“Avalon”)
Art Design: Andrzej Kowalczyk
Music original: Paweł Sydor
Sound: Maria Chilarecka,
who is Popieluszko
“...Polish police have recovered the body of a Roman Catholic priest - an
outspoken champion of the banned trade union Solidarity.”
(The BBC in 1984)
“Someone wanted to kill the hope that it is possible to avoid violence in
Polish political life.”
(Lech Walesa, Solidarity leader)
Tobias Fleig, Rainer Heesh
Julita Świercz Wieczyńska
...and over 200 more
Intl Version 107 min.
35 mm/ 1 : 2,35 / color / 4 K
TV versions available
Freedom Is Within Us
© Focus Producers Co. ltd
ww popieluszko pl
Jerzy (George) Popieluszko is an ordinary young priest. He has a dynamic personality and a great sense of humour,
but is not without human weaknesses. In 1980, he is sent by accident to the strikers of the Warsaw Steelworks.
Consequently, he becomes associated with the striking workers and the trade unionists from the Solidarity movement,
who oppose the communist regime in Poland.
On December 13, 1981, martial law is introduced in Poland. Tanks roll across the streets of Warsaw and the
steelworkers’ strike is brutally suppressed. People not directly involved in the strike are persecuted in the ensuing
conflict. Father Popieluszko senses hatred taking root in his own heart. He fights it through his total devotion to
helping the victims. He accurately expresses the popular sentiment in his sermons. He earns admiration and respect,
but also envy and hate. His attendance at the political trials of labourers attracts the attention of communist secret
Father Popieluszko becomes famous throughout Poland when he draws crowds numbering in the thousands to his
church. A few attempts at intimidation by the secret service result in the formation of a voluntary church guard.
Father Popieluszko begins to understand the scope of his role and the power and responsibility that now lie in his
hands. He accepts many invitations all across the country and preaches against the communists’ lies. He also realizes
that secret service agents have penetrated his nearest vicinity. He is afraid, for he wants to live. Close acquaintances
suggest that he flee the danger by going abroad.
However, he slowly prepares his relatives and friends for the worst. On one of his trips, he is kidnapped, tormented
and murdered. The news about his death results in national mourning. Hundreds of thousands of Poles attend Father
Popieluszko’s funeral - and from now on they are not afraid to demand the truth.