08 June 2022, The Tablet

Burying the evidence

Burying the evidence

Ernest Nita, left, and Mateusz Go´rski in Matuszynski’s layered study of corruption
Photo: © Lukasz BAk


Leave No Traces
Director: Jan P. Matuszynski

Warsaw, 1983: a group of young men, celebrating the end of their final school exams, are approached by two civic militia officers. One of the youngsters, 18-year-old Grzegorz Przemyk, son of a dissident poet called Barbara Sadowska, knows his rights and refuses to show them his ID. He and one of his friends, Cezary Filozof, are bundled into a van and taken to the local police station. There, a sergeant warns his brutal young officers that they should kick Grzegorz only in the stomach so as not to leave any marks.

So badly beaten that day was Grzegorz that he later died. His friend had witnessed what happened, and after Grzegorz’s mother alerted Solidarity activist Fr Jerzy Popieluszko as well as the BBC Polish service, tens of thousands turned out for his funeral.


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