Panoptikon by Marcin Gładych and Krystian Wieczyński, is a semi-documentary film. It is dedicated to one hundred years in the history of Poland and Toruń, seen from the perspective of people imprisoned in the rotunda-shaped prison, commonly known as Okrąglak.
The film is about people who ended up in the prison in Toruń over the course of the last 100 years, and had to suffer permanent surveillances, regardless of the offences which had taken them there. Marcin Gładych, the author of the famous documentary Hakerzy wolności/Hackers of Freedom (2010), in cooperation with actor Krystian Wieczyński and journalist Marceli Sulecki, decided to portray Filomaci Pomorscy (secret youth organisations), whom the Prussians imprisoned in 1901, the insurrectionists of the Greater Poland uprising sent to this prison in 1918, as well as the Poles tortured here in 1939 by the Germans, and also the soldiers of the Polish Home Army locked up here in 1945 by the Russians.
The last of the portrayals is about the killers of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, who waited for the infamous trial of 1985 locked up in Okrąglak. As a result, they managed to create an unconventional historical portrait spanning nearly one hundred years in the history of our country and the city of Toruń.
A film which is an inherent part of the tissue of Toruń
The film was made in the greatest number of locations in Toruń ever chosen for any film.
Naturally, the very centre and the intellectual axis of the film is Okrąglak , a remand centre located on ul. Fosa Staromiejska. The film was shot, inter alia, in the entrance chambers, in the courtyard, and the prison yard, inside the inner cylinder of the building, and inside prison cells.
Shooting for the episode entitled 1945 – utrwalanie władzy komunistycznej w Toruniu (1945 – Strengthening the communist power in Toruń) took place in the building of Collegium Maius of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, right across the street from Okrąglak.
The film used the following locations: ul. Podmurna, the park on ul. Chopina, and many private apartments made available by residents of Toruń.
In two episodes, we see shoots done in the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum in Kaszczorek (it is a branch of the Ethnographic Museum in Toruń).
The gymnasium shown in the episode about Filomaci Pomorscy ( 1901 ) was filmed in the gym of the former School of Gastronomy and Food Industry on ul. Jęczmienna.
The filming of the execution of young members of Filomaci Pomorscy took place in the former Prussian Fort No. 7 on ul. Okrężna.
The school Filomaci used to attend was “played” by Secondary School No. 1, situated near Zaułek Prosowy, in the Old Town.
Some of the shoots were done in tenement houses with the so-called half-timbered walls , situated in the district of Rybaki, in Bydgoskie Przedmieście (Bydgoskie Outskirts).
The scenes taking place in the episode entitled 1939 were filmed, inter alia, on the hills in Jakubskie Przedmieście, and in the dungeons of the ruined Teutonic Castle.
The film crew also worked inside the tower of the Old Town Hall and in the interior of the St. James Church (both locations are featured in the episode 1939 ).
The episode entitled 1945 was filmed near the Leaning Tower, inside Okrąglak prison, and in the former brewery building on ul. Browarna (Stary Browar/Old Brewery).
In addition, the film crew paid visits to locations outside the Old Town, for example to Barbarka near Toruń, and to the little palace of Hospicjum Światło (a hospice) situated on ul. Św. Józefa.
The kidnapping of Father Popiełuszko (episode 1985 ) was filmed on one of the roads near Toruń.
The eisode 1901 was filmed on ul. Ciasna.
The media provided systematic reports on the making of the film and claimed that Panoptikon was “ the first Polish community-made film”.
The film was shot in the years 2011-2012.
The film was accompanied by an interesting music project named Music Panoptikon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdwDJgY3ClA), comprising four songs with music videos used in certain episodes in the film.
There was also an exhibition of stills from the film set photographed by Anna Wojciulewicz, a young photographer from Toruń.
In the film, professional actors partnered nearly 200 people connected to the artistic, political, and economic communities of the city.
For example, Polish senators and theatre Directors appeared in the film.
Between ten and twenty re-enactment groups were involved in this film production, and their equipment included armoured vehicles, for example.
The prison in Toruń where the action takes place is one of the only three buildings in the world which use the “Panopticon” imprisonment system devised by Jeremy Bentham.
One of the scenes in the film was shot in the Palace and Park Complex in Ostromecko near Bydgoszcz.
Information on the film
Poland 2012, 90′
Directed by: Marcin Gładych, Krystian Wieczyński
Screenplay: Marcin Gładych, Marceli Sulecki, Krystian Wieczyński, Radosław Garncarek
Cast: Jarosław Felczykowski, Jolanta Teska, Paweł Tchórzelski, Krystian Pesta, Jacek Miller, Michał Naleśniak, Andrzej Churski, Lech Tadeusz Karczewski, Tomasz Cebo, Marcin Czyżniewski, Jan Wyrowiński, Grzegorz Kopcewicz, Olaf Popkiewicz, Radosław Smużny, Łukasz Ignasiński, Radosław Garncarek, Radosław Smużny, Piotr Dąbrowski, and others.