DVD review: Katyn, Andrzej Wajda, 121 mins (15)

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The Independent Culture

In Katyñ veteran Polish director Andrzej Wajda tackles a terrible war crime carried out against the Polish people early in the Second World War.

The film focuses on the massacre in the forest of Katyñ, where the Soviet NKVD executed tens of thousands of Polish soldiers on Stalin's orders. While it introduces those in the prisoner of war camps it is really about the families left behind. The film shows the atrocity of the massacre through individual suffering, to put a human face on a story blurred by propaganda and counter propaganda from the Soviets and the Nazis. It is extraordinarily harrowing, culminating in a re-enactment of the massacre itself. It is a superbly made drama, and was unlucky to lose out on the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2007 Oscars to another Second World War drama in The Counterfeiters.