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Defence minister says new Agnieszka Holland movie slanders Polish army, border guards

20.09.2023 13:30
Poland's defence minister has lashed out at director Agnieszka Holland’s new movie “The Green Border,” about a migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, saying it is “a slur” on the Polish army and the Border Guard agency.
Photo:X/Polish Border Guard

Mariusz Błaszczak made the remark in a new pre-election video unveiled by Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party on Wednesday, state news agency PAP reported.

The defence minister said: “Agnieszka Holland is hitting cinemas with a slur that insults the Polish Army and the Border Guard.”

Błaszczak added that Holland “has links” with Poland’s main opposition leader Donald Tusk, a former prime minister and European Council president, and with his centrist Civic Platform (PO) party. 

The defence minister stated: “We won’t let the opposition and its celebrity supporters insult our soldiers and officials. For more than two years, they have been exposed to danger, risking their lives and health to ensure that Poland is secure.”

Błaszczak also said that his ruling party “stands firmly” with the country’s soldiers and border guards.    

Meanwhile, the Law and Justice party wrote on the X social media platform: “The movie by people linked to Tusk portrays the Polish army and border guards as murderers and sadists. These are lies. The Polish border defenders must have our support. Let’s stand firmly with Polish uniformed services.”

Senior Law and Justice politicians, including Education and Science Minister Przemysław Czarnek, government spokesman Piotr Müller and European Parliament member Joachim Brudziński, also took to social media to say that The Green Border "slandered" the Polish military and the Border Guard agency, the PAP news agency reported.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters in Warsaw on Wednesday that the film was designed to "pave the way for dismantling" a barrier built by his government along the Polish-Belarusian border to stem illegal migration, the PAP news agency reported.

Last week, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, from the co-governing Sovereign Poland party, compared Holland’s movie to a Nazi Germany propaganda film “showing Poles as bandits and murderers,” Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, the Federation of European Screen Directors on Monday came out in support of Holland, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The group, which represents over 20,000 European film and TV directors, said in an open letter it was “full of admiration” for Holland for her “strength and courage in the face of the appalling attacks against her and the film in Poland.”

“We stand squarely behind Agnieszka,” the federation added.

Holland has also received backing from the European Film Academy, other international organisations and from Poland’s Women in Film Association, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Green Border premiered on September 5 at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, winning a special jury prize, the PAP news agency reported.

“The film dramatizes the situation of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East who were lured to the Belarus-Poland border by propaganda promising easy passage into the European Union,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Holland told reporters in Venice that the movie sought “to capture this issue in all its complexity,” showing how “politicians, the armed forces, refugees, activists and the residents of the region responded to this challenge.”

She added that The Green Border aimed “to give voice to those who are deprived of it” and to “reflect how difficult are the choices we make,” the PAP news agency reported.

The Green Border is set to be released in Poland this weekend.


Source: IAR, PAP, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter