FIRST POLISH FEATURE FILM: 'LES MARTYRS DE LA POLOGNE - PRUSSIAN CULTURE' (1908) (Pierwszy polski film fabularny. 'Les Martyrs de la Pologne - Pruska kultura' (1908))
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The authors write about a film rediscovered by them in September 2000, in the French archive Bois d'Arcy. The film is entitled 'Les Martyrs de la Pologne', but in Polish film studies is known as 'Prussian Culture' (Pruska kultura). This discovery questioned the previously held opinion that the earliest Polish film is the 'Antos First Visit in Warsaw' (Antos pierwszy raz w Warszawie, 1908). Walter Panofsky was writing in 1907 about the 'Prussian Culture'. According to him it portrayed brutal resettlement of Polish peasants by Hakata and the peasant rebellion that was later viciously crushed by the Prussian army. The film ended with an apotheosis - a white eagle that appeared to Poles at prayer. According to the authors this film was one of the first attempts of informing the world, using the medium of film, about non existent Poland and the dramatic history of Poles. The eight minute film consists of 12 episodes. The authors of the article also describe the historical context of the film, and try to answer the question: who and why made this film? And who were the target audience? They describe the context and circumstances in which the film was first shown in Warsaw in 1914, and place the film within the context of world cinema of the time, dealing with socio-political issues.
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