“Something is wrong with my child.”  Ryszard Brylski trying to politicize his latest movie

The film tells the story of Small Zigelbogum, who traveled to London during the war to tell us about the enormity of the crimes committed by the Germans against the Jews. When he realized that he was unable to persuade others to act, he committed suicide.


TOK FM: Mr. Ryszard, how did you hear that the Polish National Foundation published a description of your film like this? The description that historians say frankly is nonsense

Ryszard Brylski, Director of “Zmiercia Zygielbojm”: I learned about it from TOK FM Radio. I did not hear it, although I often listen to you while you are driving, but here I was told by other people who have heard this program. Later, of course, I read what appeared on the website of the Polish National Foundation and it horrified me. I felt like a movie that was meant to show that one cannot be indifferent. This film was never intended to serve political controversies or new theses of historical politics.

How did I read that your film says that “there could not be an active participation of the Poles in the extermination of the Jews” – what do you think?

This content is problematic – it is not present in this movie at all. And such descriptions reduce it to the lowest level – a propaganda film composed of a dedicated, in my opinion – sick – political idea. It is a historical and biographical film, but also a psychological drama. A movie that is meant to spark imagination. And I realized that the film fell into the abyss of political propaganda. That’s why I had to protest.

She took a strong and resolute voice at the first official presentation – in the presence of, among others, the Minister of Culture and the President of the Polish National Foundation. When you were making this movie, didn’t he tell you that this rulers novel could go one way or the other?

I wasn’t really expecting this. This movie seemed so noble to me in its message that I didn’t think anyone would try to reformat it in this way. It is painful, of course. The first thing that came to my mind was that “something bad is happening to my child”. Then it was a shame that someone politicized this film.

Some said they wouldn’t go for it, because it’s a government movie.

exactly. At one of the pre-show premieres – for teachers and educators, I heard a sentence that I didn’t understand at first. During the discussion, one of the teachers said that she liked the movie very much, and that she was affected, but she would not be able to show it to her students, because it was commissioned by the minister, and therefore it is politicized. her movie.

So she pointed out the inscription that appears in the film that the idea for the film came from Piotr Gliñski – Minister of Culture.

Yes, this was the first time I discovered adding such an inscription. It surprised me – yes, it has been said before, but I firmly said that I do not agree with such a thing. I don’t understand this entry, because what does “Pyotr Glinsky’s movie idea” mean?

Maybe the movie was taken from you – from the creators – in a sense?

That it will be taken over by the people who donated money to the movie and think they can do anything with it? Not their property. Money for a film is always given by the sponsor or the state, and for such films – it must give. But the film could not be subjected to massive manipulation. That’s why I had to deny it. firmly and firmly. in the first show. I can no longer remain silent and allow our film to be hijacked.

Is there a shadow of truth in the phrase that appeared in the translation that the idea for the film came from Piotr Gliñski?

The case is complicated. Zygielbojm is not a fictitious hero. I learned about this character a long time ago from Mr. Marek Edelman. In 1991, I was making short films for the election campaign. Jacek Kuroñ was one of the heroes – we made a place when Jacek Kuroñ pours and serves soup. The shooting continued all day and it was Marek Edelman who appeared on the set. That’s when he told me about Szmul Zygielbojm – that it was really like a movie tragedy. And it was with me, I was thinking about this movie for many years.

What is the defining moment, the breakthrough?

My meeting with producer W³odzimierz Niderhaus on the occasion of my other film “urek”. It was an award-winning movie somewhere out there. W³odzimierz Niderhaus then asked me what the word “urk” was. Then I told him about the movie Zygielbojmo. He said it would be difficult, but years later he called me and said – we’re making a movie about Zygielbojmo.

How did this happen?

It turned out that this story was among the historical topics of the Ministry of Culture. This is what happened. I found out that Wojciech Lepianka would write a script that would go into some competition. I joined without hesitation. But it never occurred to me for a moment that there was any idea of ​​Minister Jinsky for this movie. So it is not true that we made a movie on the idea of ​​the minister. I didn’t feel any pressure or trying to change anything or force any ideas. That is why the inscription “Pyotr Glinsky’s movie idea” is so amazing to me, but also outrageous. It has turned into a complex puzzle. I would even understand if the inscription reads, for example, “Inspiration of historical subjects – Piotr Gliñski.” But something happened here – including the entrances to the Polish National Foundation – that politicized this film to the extreme. I reduced the film to the kind of government propaganda. I do not have my consent to do so.

At 15.20 we will be publishing a podcast with an interview with Ryszard Brylski!


Minister Piotr Gliñski, after the premiere of the film, in which Ryszard Brylski took a strong and assertive voice, posted his statement on Facebook. You can see here:

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