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The Warsaw Voice » Society » December 30, 2014
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From the Editor
December 30, 2014   
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What probably all nations have in common is a strong belief that they are special and have an exceptionally complex and dramatic history. We in Poland are no different. In fact, our sense of being special seems to be stronger than elsewhere.

To be sure, this claim of being “special” is a convenient excuse for virtually any flaw and failure. At the same time, it makes people feel undeservedly proud and arrogant.

Problems begin when we want to tell our story to foreigners. First, many foreigners just don’t understand the intricacies of our history, second, they tend to underestimate our problems, and third, they rarely show us the kind of respect we expect.

Polish writers and filmmakers know all too well how difficult it is sometimes to get their message across to international audiences without getting lost in a tangle of empty symbols and clichés.

However, some stories of Poland and Poles carry universal messages for the international public as well. Many such movies have been enthusiastically embraced by international viewers and their distinctive local flavor has not prevented them from conveying some universal truths.

One latest example is the award-winning film Ida, a low-key drama by director Pawe³ Pawlikowski that uses simple language and means to tell a compelling story of Poland’s convoluted postwar history. Even though the movie focuses on specific people at a specific time, it is like a mirror in which anybody can see their own reflection.
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