As a non-Pole I knew nothing about General Nil (the code name of Emil Fieldorf, a general in the Polish "Home Army" resistance). This film shows a stark, bleak vision of the life and choices which was faced by the men and women who fought bravely for their country against both the Nazis and the Soviets, having been betrayed by their so-called Allies. Men who fought for a free Poland (it had only been re-established in 1918 after over 120 years being wiped off the map)then had to face the prospect of life under a Soviet banner or death (exile was also an option).
The film shows the bleak existence many ordinary Poles faced, as well as the danger anyone faced for saying they had been involved in AK (Home Army) activities, and the merciless power of the Soviet system, which the Allied powers had abandoned them to.
The performances are powerful and commanding. The images of ordinary civilians (Nil's wife and daughter) being abused by the communist system, the betrayal of old ideals and old comrades, the atmosphere of terror which the new Soviet powers sought to instill are vividly portrayed.
For those who think WW2 starts and ends with Sir John Mills or John Wayne will be shocked and disgusted at what went on afterwards.
This film is superb. NO glorified battles or last stands, just the portrayal of courage and dignity in the face of squalid betrayal and brutality.
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