Made in the immediate post-WWII era by famed filmmaker Julien Bryan, POLAND THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE shows the nation of Poland as it emerged from the war, with the nation digging itself out of the ruins of conflict and trying to re-establish itself. The film can in some ways be seen as an appeal to the American people and the West for assistance in assuring that the nation would be permitted to be free, after six long years of terrible struggle. Unfortunately the hopeful sentiments echoed in the narration would soon by crushed by the Communist party and Soviets.
The film is notable for showing many scenes of agriculture and commerce from before and after WWII, including shots of the Polish peasantry and their handicrafts, religious ceremonies, dancing, and more. Poland at this time was a life of many different cultures, including mountain people and groups with rich tradition, some of whom were eradicated during the German occupation. At the 8 minute mark, a group of Ukranians who lived in Poland -- one of many minorities in the nation -- are shown. The Jews, who were decimated by the persecutions of the German forces, are discussed at the 8:40 mark and following. As the narrator solemnly remarks at the 9:40 mark, few of the Jewish people seen in the film remained alive at the end of the war.
Gydnia, Gdansk, Warsaw, Krakow, Danzig and other cities are seen in the film.
Julien Hequembourg Bryan (1899-1974) was an American photographer, filmmaker, and documentarian. He is best known for documenting the daily life in Poland, Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany between 1935 and 1939. After fleeing Poland in 1939, he returned to Poland in 1946. As part of an official UNRRA delegation he revisited Gdańsk and Warsaw. His footage of recently destroyed Gdańsk, seen in this film, is probably the first post-war film shot in that city. Bryan was honored with „Zasłużony dla Kultury Polskiej" ("Merit for Polish culture") during his last visit in Poland (1974) for showing the truth about the Invasion of Poland.
The Country and the People
A Julien Bryan production
Associate producer: Eugene Cenkalski
Photography: Jules Bucher, Julien Bryan
Music: Jerzy Fitelberg
Commentary: Robert Spencer Carr
Narrator: Merce Cunningham
Animation: Philip Stapp
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com