the Eastern Bloc did not have communism/socialism/Marxism; it had fascism
I've heard some about Poland's Labor Solidarity movement that eventually brought down the Soviet puppet government, but Volker Schlondorff's "Strajk - Die Heldin von Danzig" tells the story in detail. The movie focuses on Agnieszka Kowalska, chosen by the union leader as a heroine of labor in 1961 Gdansk. But it soon becomes clear that the people in power have merely done this to pacify her. In 1970, several workers get killed in an accident that the authorities try to whitewash. This leads to a massive strike that the government suppresses with tanks. But by the end of the 1970s, Karol Wojtyla has become Pope John Paul II, and Agnieszka has allied with Lech Walesa to form the country's first independent trade union. A quarter of a century later, Agnieszka wonders how things will turn out.
Probably the main thing that I derived from this film was what I derived from the German movie "The Lives of Others": the similarities between the Eastern and Western Blocs easily outweighed the differences. The Soviet Union, under the banner of "Marxism" took over Eastern Europe and installed puppet governments; just like how the US, under the banner of "freedom" took over Latin American and installed puppet governments. Moreover, following the 1970 strike, the authorities show pictures of people on TV and tell viewers to report anyone familiar; much like how Joe McCarthy and his people encouraged Americans to brand people as communists. When the government denies payment to the widows of workers killed in the accident, that reminded me of how the Bush administration used Hurricane Katrina to try and repeal a decades-old labor law in New Orleans. No matter how you look at it, when you look at the policies in any right-wing extremist society (no matter what it claims to be), they all sound exactly the same.
But anyway, this is a great movie. Poland has certainly released some good ones.
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