In 1648 a Cossack rebellion in the Ukraine threatens the sovereignty of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth over the Cossack nation. The Cossack rebellion also known as the Khmelnytsky Uprising is pitting the Cossack nation and its Crimean Tatar allies against the forces sent by the Polish king John II Casimir. Polish Colonel Michal Wolodyjowski is leading a squadron of Polish cavalry.Traitors,assassins and spies are everywhere. Against the backdrop of the uprising, a Polish knight Skrzetuski and a Cossack leader Bohun fall in love with the same young beautiful woman, Helena. Their rivalry becomes the symbol of Polish-Ukrainian struggle.Written by
The pikes used by the infantry should be much longer, as they are of little use being so short. Pikes are pole arms, typically of 10 to 25 feet in length. See more »
On April 14 2001 the first channel of Polish public television aired the first part of the television version of the movie. The television version is almost 30 minutes longer than the version previously shown in the cinemas and contains of four episodes. It includes some scenes that were deleted from the theatrical edition, e.g. scenes with Krystyna Feldman and Agnieszka Krukówna playing Ukrainian women or Magdalena Warzecha playing Gryzelda Wisniowiecka. See more »
First of all, I am not delighted with Ogniem i Mieczem. But I think, it is a decent piece of adventure movie, which by the way, can also teach a bit about Poland's and Ukraine's history. There is one great thing, that Hoffman did - he modernized original Sienkiewicz's book, which was written in 1884 in very different circumstances. At that time, Poland was not existent country for almost 100 years, and the goal of Sienkiewicz's Trilogy was to raise Polish morale. That's why the Cossacks in the book are just enemies, evil and cruel, and their cause is not just, while the Poles (and loyal Ukrainians, like Prince Jeremi Wisniowiecki) are good, less cruel, and their cruelty is justified. Hoffman made a movie for modern times instead, when Poland and Ukraine are independent neighbors and they have to cooperate and built friendship among citizens (I must add here, that last local slaughters between citizens of two nations took part during World War II). In a movie, we see also Ukrainian point of view. Of course, the movie still remains Polish-centric, but it also shows Cossacks as people, who had they cause as well - what was guaranteed by engaging the Ukrainian actor (Bohdan Stupka) as Khmelnytsky.
Of the cast, Zbigniew Zamachowski as a fencing master Michal Wolodyjowski is disappointing, but I think he must have been under pressure of comparisons with highly praised Tadeusz Lomnicki, who played this character in earlier other two parts. And yes, Scorupco was a bad choice - after several days of marching through villages and bushes, she still looks like a cosmetic advertisement ("Despite all these things, my make-up still remains intact"). On the other hand, Daniel Olbrychski, playing a minor part of Tukhay-Bey, reached the mastery in my opinion.
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