The film depicts the life of Father Jerzy, from his childhood in the country to the time when his vocation was forming during his stay in the army, and the process of his becoming a legend during the difficult times of communism, until his brutal murder, and the funeral which drew together almost half a million Poles.
Rafał Wieczyński’s film is a story about a man, who, from being a modest boy
from a village in Podlachia, became a spiritual leader of the country and a symbol of courage in the fight for freedom and truth. Popiełuszko’s story is presented in the context of significant events in Poland in the 80s, which were recreated in the film. These include the riots of August ’80 and demonstrations during martial law, brutally suppressed by the Government of the Polish People’s Republic.
Thanks to his extraordinary spiritual strength, warmth, and sense of humour, Father Jerzy became a father figure and won people over. His murder, and the disclosure of its circumstances, came as a huge shock, and provoked outrage among society. To this day many doubts are raised in connection with this crime.
The film was shot in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship in Bydgoszcz, at the Święci Polscy Bracia Męczennicy church, and on Fordon Bridge, whereas the key scene was shot at the dam on the Vistula in Włocławek.
Popiełuszko. Wolność jest w nas / Popieluszko: Freedom Is Within Us
Poland, 2009, 149’
Directing: Rafał Wieczyński
Screenplay: Rafał Wieczyński
Shooting: Grzegorz Kędzierski
Music: Paweł Sydor
Production: Focus Producers
Cast: Adam Woronowicz, Marcin Klejno, Artur Balczyński, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Radosław Pazura, Maja Komorowska, Joanna Szczepkowska, Jan Englert, Krzysztof Kolberger, Agnieszka Jaworska, Dominika Nikoniuk, Kacper Kuniawka, and others.
The Award of the Dzieło Nowego Tysiąclecia Foundation, established by the Polish Episcopacy – Totus; the Polish Film Award: Eagle – nomination in category Best Production Design for Andrzej Kowalczyk; the Grand Prix at the International Catholic Film and Multimedia Festival KSF Niepokalana; the Film Festival in Gdynia – nomination for a Golden Lion; Złota Kaczka nominations in the categories Best Film, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Camera Work, Best History Costume Drama in a Century of Polish Cinema, Best Screenplay; and others.