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Film director Agnieszka Holland became the victim of a wave of hatred in Poland

Anti-Polish trash can “, “Collaborator”, “Jew with Bolshevik roots”… These are some of the insults directed at Polish director Agnieszka Holland on X (formerly Twitter). His last feature film, green border (“ Green Border”), will be released only in Poland on September 22, but he has been the subject of unprecedented slander since the beginning of the month. A wave that appears to have accelerated after the work won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival on September 10, where it was previewed.

fiction inspired by real events, green border (The Green Border) tells the story of a disrupted life in Podlaskie, a rural Polish region bordering Belarus, at the center of a migrant crisis that has not been seen for two years. In the winter of 2021, tens of thousands of men, women and children from the Middle East and Africa crossed this new migration route, deliberately opened by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, hindering the prospect of a quick transition to the EU. Pushed back by Belarusian and Polish authorities on both sides – who erected a steel wall on the border in July 2022 – around fifty people have already lost their lives.

“It’s orchestrated by the powers that be”

Approved in Venice and at the festivals where it has already been presented, the film has received much more acclaim in Agnieszka’s native Holland, where she lives mostly between Poland, France (of which she is a citizen) and the United States. Campaigning for the Oct. 15 legislative election, the ultraconservatives of the Law and Justice Party, which has been in power since 2015 and saw aid for migrants and criticism of Lukashenko as a takeover, launched their first attacks. “During the Third Reich, the Germans produced propaganda films showing Poles as bandits and murderers. Today they have Agnieszka Holland for that. Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro said. on September 4.

The fury of the conservative right against the director is not new. The latter is one of the intellectual figures most committed to protecting the rights of minorities and fighting the authoritarian tendencies of PiS.

“I expected hostile reactions, but I didn’t think it would be such a tsunami. confides Agnieszka Holland, who was contacted by phone in Toronto (Canada), where her feature film has been selected for an international film festival. “This is being orchestrated by those in power who hope to benefit from electorally beneficial spin-offs. I am accused of being an agent of the Nazis or Putin, it depends. This is all the more ironic because almost all of my Jewish family, on my father’s side, perished in the Shoah.

Source: Le Monde



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