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Korczak -- Henryk Goldszmit had become a Polish icon in the 1930s through his writings, teachings, and radio programs for children, under the name of Janusz Korczak. When the kids from his Warsaw orphanage were to be deported to the gas chambers of Treblinka, he refused to abandon them, and with them he died in the Holocaust.


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Release Date:
6 May 1990 (Poland) See more »
Account of the last days of life of the legendary Polish pedagogue Janusz Korczak and his heroic dedication... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
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(4 articles)
Camerimage to honour late Jerzy Lipman
 (From ScreenDaily. 12 September 2014, 5:03 AM, PDT)

Blu-ray, DVD Release: Korczak
 (From Disc Dish. 26 July 2012, 8:06 AM, PDT)

A short history of Polish cinema
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 6 April 2011, 6:41 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Another Great Wajda Film See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Wojciech Pszoniak ... Henryk Goldszmit vel Janusz Korczak
Ewa Dalkowska ... Stefania 'Stefa' Wilczynska
Teresa Budzisz-Krzyzanowska ... Maryna Rogowska-Falska
Marzena Trybala ... Estera
Piotr Kozlowski ... Heniek
Zbigniew Zamachowski ... Ichak Szulc
Jan Peszek ... Max Bauer
Aleksander Bardini ... Adam Czerniaków
Maria Chwalibóg ... Czerniaków's wife
Andrzej Kopiczynski ... Dyrektor w Polskim Radiu
Krystyna Zachwatowicz ... Szloma's mother
Jerzy Zass ... German wachman on the bridge
Wojciech Klata ... Szloma
Michal Staszczak ... Józek
Agnieszka Krukówna ... Ewka (as Agnieszka Kruk)
Karolina Czernicka ... Natka
Maria Weymayr
Anna Mucha ... Sabinka
Adam Siemion ... Abramek
Wojciech Radecki
Robert Atzorn ... German Doctor
Janusz Bukowski ... Polish doctor in prison
Stanislawa Celinska ... Sklepowa
Edgar Hoppe
Bernhard Howe
Ewa Telega ... Byla wychowanka Korczaka (as Ewa Isajewicz-Telega)
Piotr Kazimierski
Grzegorz Klein
Zygmunt Kestowicz ... Piotr Zalewski
Agnieszka Kumor
Olaf Lubaszenko ... Tramwajarz
Katarzyna Laniewska ... Pracownica w sierocincu Korczaka
Alicja Migulanka ... Washing woman
Wlodzimierz Press ... Zyd na ulicy getta
Jan Prochyra ... Gancwajch
Danuta Szaflarska ... Mrs. Bauer, Max's mother
Aniela Swiderska-Pawlik
Zbigniew Suszynski ... Student
Tomasz Traczynski
Jerzy Walczak (as Jan Walczak)
Maciej Winkler
Jacek Wójcicki ... Wychowanek Korczaka, bojowiec Bundu
Witold Bielinski ... German soldier
Stanislaw Brudny ... Polish man in prison
Jacek Domanski (as J. Domanski)
Tadeusz Hanusek
Hanna Kossowska (as H. Kossowska)
Grzegorz Pawlowski ... Korczak's assistant
Teresa Szmigielówna (as T. Szmigielówna)
Aleksander Trabczynski ... Gestapowiec kierujacy kreceniem filmu w getcie (as A. Trabczynski)
Rafal Walentynowicz
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ryszard Janikowski
Jerzy Kozlowski
Wojciech Skibinski ... Jewish policeman (uncredited)
Roman Szafranski ... Gosc w kawiarni (uncredited)

Directed by
Andrzej Wajda 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Agnieszka Holland 

Produced by
Wolfgang Hantke .... delegate producer
Janusz Morgenstern .... producer
Willi Segler .... producer
Daniel Toscan du Plantier .... producer
Regina Ziegler .... producer
Original Music by
Wojciech Kilar 
Cinematography by
Robby Müller 
Film Editing by
Ewa Smal 
Production Design by
Allan Starski 
Art Direction by
Ewa Skoczkowska 
Set Decoration by
Magdalena Dipont 
Anna Kowarska 
Costume Design by
Wieslawa Starska 
Production Management
Christian Dressler .... assistant production manager
Ireneusz Kaznocha .... assistant production manager
Robert Lipinski .... production leader
Czeslawa Lukasiewicz .... assistant production manager
Halina Malek .... assistant production manager
Teresa Maleszewska .... production leader
Barbara Pec-Slesicka .... production manager
Konrad Piotrowski .... assistant production manager
Jaroslaw Pogorzelski .... assistant production manager
Marek Skladanowski .... production leader
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ami Drozd .... assistant director
Jerzy Gerlee .... assistant director
Krystyna Grochowicz .... second unit director
Wieslawa Klata .... assistant director
Andrzej Kotkowski .... assistant director
Malgorzata Lisak .... assistant director
Pawel Wierkowski .... second unit director
Sound Department
Krzysztof Jastrzab .... sound assistant
Boguslaw Nowak .... sound effects (as Bogdan Nowak)
Zbigniew Modej .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Stanislaw Bilski .... assistant camera
Marek Modzelewski .... best boy
Jan Ossowski .... assistant camera
Roman Taborski .... assistant camera
Jakub Wdowicki .... assistant camera
Janusz Zachwajewski .... assistant camera
Music Department
Antoni Wit .... musical director
Other crew
Malgorzata Zdziarska .... production secretary

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
115 min
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Another Great Wajda Film, 22 January 2006
Author: bensonj from New York, NY

Once again Wajda returns to the war. Here, the Nazi-era ghetto is shown as a place of greater variety of experience than typically depicted. As Nazis film the street scenes we've grown accustomed to seeing, the hero of this film is able to run an orphanage with some semblance of normality, others are poor but not starving, and some Jews even live high on the hog trading with the guards. In fact, the studio-recreated scenes of ghetto death and poverty in the streets seemed cleaner, more airbrushed, than the ordinary town streets in Wajda's 35-year earlier A GENERATION (which was on the same bill when I saw this). But this is not a major criticism. Scriptwriter Agnieszka Holland's purpose isn't merely to retell Nazi horrors; her subject is how a moral force meets and responds to the holocaust. In his ghetto orphanage the director walls his children in to shield them. While he does business with the devil outside to keep them fed, inside the children care for each other, keep discipline with their own court of justice tempered with mercy, and put on classic plays (one dealing with death so the children will understand and not fear it). Wealthy, well-meaning gentiles outside the ghetto try to save the doctor, but he won't consider it. Finally, inevitably, the children are put in a railway car to the ovens. The whole point and power of the film is that this man's will has kept his children's humanity intact. When the end comes we feel their death in a personal way that few films on the subject have. Pszoniak plays Korczak (who is based on a real person) with great strength. Korczak's insistence on not accepting the Nazi status quo sometimes works, often doesn't even achieve short term ends, but is the only moral stand to be taken. The end, a fantasy shot of the children and the doctor running from the cattle car into a field of light, is somewhat controversial. It would, in another film, seem a poetic cop-out. Here, it works because even as the image plays out on the screen, your mind sees their real end that the rest of the film has prepared you for.

One can't help but feel that Spielberg was influenced by this film when he made SCHINDLER'S LIST, a film that's perhaps visually more flashy than KORCZAK, but which doesn't have KORCZAK's clear moral purpose at its core. Wajda is given "special thanks" in the screen credits of the Spielberg film.

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