September 27, 2017

Returning Coincidences

Shortly after my stage in Poland, I felt nostalgic feelings fueled by curiosity about the country and its roots. The starting point to start researching always begins in Religion and its political-dynastic alliances. This makes it more interesting since Geographically its position is rounded by borders with systems of governments totally different from them. This has repercussions with attempts by different nations in the different parts of its territory. As always, after researching and reading different texts and articles I need the audiovisual complement to improve my understanding and make the connection between the different events.

Previously in Poland I asked about a film in which national values are represented, but the most common response was the film “With Fire and Sword” (Ogniem i Mieczem),but my first conclusion was not that it was identifier but popular, supported by the catchy main theme of the film.
My investigation began by discovering that it was based on the work of the renowned writer and Nobel Prize winner, Henryk Sienkiewicz. Who got a great fame with the publication of his trilogy on the Polish fight against the invasions of the XVII Century —With Fire and Sword (1884), The Deluge (1886), y Colonel Wolodyjowski  (1888). Outside the Polish narration his most famous novel is Quo vadis? (1896), taken repeatedly to the cinema, text where through the sufferings of the Christians in the reign of Nero it makes a critique of the oppression of the own Poland.

Returning to my experience, I began the viewing of the trilogy filmed by the Polish director Jerzy Hoffman, with the peculiarity that it performs them in reverse chronological direction. Next we will go a little deeper in each of his adaptations;

Colonel Michael Wolodyjowski, in this epic 161-minute tape is related how the Polish-Lithuanian Union faced Turks and Tataros defending the fortress in Kamieniec Podolski(1672). 1.060 polish tried to stop 120,000 turkish y Crimean Tartars. The hero died; however, the following year (1673), the Polish won the Chocim battle and in 1683 saved Europe from the Turkish invasion of Kahlenberg battle. This was the last great victory Polish Kingdom and the legendary Polish Winged Hussars army.

The Deluge or “Potop” is situated in the 17th century during the Swedish invasion of the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth . Just five years after expelling the Cossack invaders. Another threat is figured by Swedish troops in the north of the country. Poland, weakened by the war with the Cossacks and Russia, was unable to stop the Swedes, who occupied most of the country, while the eastern territories were invaded by Cossacks and Russians.

The turning point in the war was in defense of Jasna Góra Monastery .
Jasna Góra Monastery (Częstochowa) defended by 300 men – 160 soldiers, 50 gunners, 20 nobles, 70 monks and a dozen cannons against 3200 enemy forces – 2400 mercenary German soldiers, 800 of Polish cavalry and 17 guns. Since then the Poles began to believe in victory and the war turned around. It is believed in miracle of the Black Virgin that just before the fence was transferred to a safe place. The defense of Jasna Góra Monastery for the Polish nation was of great importance in moral terms.

The Swedes were defeated (1656-1660). The end of the Deluge also signified the end of the golden age of the Republic of the Two Nations. A quarter of the country’s population perished as a result of it and the plagues, resulting in the country’s economy severely damaged. It was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1974.

With Fire and Sword,Ogniem i Mieczem. Located in the seventeenth century between 1648 and 1651, in the middle of the Poland and Ukraine Civil War with the uprising of the Cossacks and the romantic parallel situation of a colonel who falls in love with a promised girl … An epic film of romantic- adventurer advertised as the film that, in Poland, surpassed “Titanic” in collection.

On that period Poland was the most extensive country of Europe, was a federal aristocratic republic formed in 1569 by the Kingdom of Poland and the Great Duchy of Lithuania, and lasted until the distributions of Poland in 1795 already consumed by its internal wars and by the rise of Russia, Prussia and Sweden.

Its visual style by far far more attractive than the previous ones and empowered by itscatchy soundtrack.

Good and after discovering the work of and the respective adaptations of on the decline of the Polish-Lithuanian alliance comes the time to explain my “Coincidence” about the visualizations of these films between the 2014-2015 years. I had among my tasks to write about this as an act of study and reflection, but my commitments in other projects had made me neglect them.

I find currently finishing my last experience in Germany and as you can imagine, language consumes enough energy among the priorities to be done. But back to the subject in question, my organization is part of a partnership about a project called BUILDING A DEMOCRATIC EUROPE TOGETHER. In these types of projects events are scheduled in the different countries of partner organizations and I participated in last June the one that took place in Częstochowa, Poland.


My duties did not encourage me to investigate the place before visiting it, just recovering the feeling of returning to the country that once welcomed me. But over time attending the different tourist offers how the great significance and magnitude of the Jasna Gora Monastery and the visit of different museums such as the Council where I appreciated firsthand the spectacular armor of the Polish Winged Hussars Army.
These experiences refreshed my memory but unfortunately not in fullness to enjoy it completely. Even so, I can say that I was in the place where the Polish people resisted the looting and invasion by the Swedish army. Film scene of the Deluge or “Potop”.

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