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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » September 16, 2009
The world of movies
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Holland's Film Janosik Finally Premieres
September 16, 2009   
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The long-awaited world premiere of Polish director Agnieszka Holland's problem-hit film about a legendary 17th century robber took place in Warsaw Aug. 26.

Shooting of Janosik: A True Story, a Polish-Czech-Slovak production, started in 2003, but was halted before the year was out. The costs of making the movie, initially planned at $2.4 million, ballooned to around $5 million. One of the strategic partners withdrew from the project and filming had to stop. Work did not resume until July 2008.

The movie tells the story of Slovak highland robber Juraj Janosik who lived at the end of the 17th century in the Carpathian Mountains. As a 20-year-old he became the leader of a band of robbers on the Polish-Hungarian border who held up rich merchants, aristocrats and any other wealthy travelers. He was captured after two years, put on trial and sentenced to death by hanging by a rib.

Holland and scriptwriter Eva Borusovicova made use of historic documents from Janosik's trial. Holland wanted to paint a realistic picture of the life of this robber, who has been the subject of many legends that have little in common with Janosik's true life story. Janosik: A True Story is the fourth Polish film about Janosik's adventures. The most famous production was the TV series Janosik made by Jerzy Passendorfer in 1973, starring Polish actor Marek Perepeczko in the title role.
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