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SCREENING: The General: The Gibraltar Assassination (Poland, 2009)

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Europe East and West: Film, History, and Mourning

The General: The Gibraltar Assassination Dir. Anna Jadowska, Poland, 2009.

Gibraltar, 4 June 1943: General Sikorski, the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish forces, is killed when his plane crashes into the sea several seconds after taking off. He had been a guest of the British Governor. Despite the suspicious circumstances surrounding the crash, and an inability to determine its cause, the investigating British forces resolutely declare it an accident.

Historian Dariusz Baliszewski has spent the past fifteen years collecting archival documents and questioning key witnesses. His conclusion: Sikorski had become a threat to the Soviet-British alliance. He refused to accept Stalin’s denial that he had massacred thousands of Polish officers in Katyn in 1940, and may have been in possession of documents that would also have damaged the reputation of Britain. There was no “accident” in Gibraltar: the plane was loaded with bodies already killed at the palace by hostile Polish agents.

This innovative and startling film reconstructs how the last days of Sikorski’s life would have looked like if Baliszewski’s theories are correct.

This screening will be followed by a paper on the 18th May: Dr. Matilda Mroz (Dept. of Slavonic Studies) ‘Restless bodies, buried texts: Sikorski, The General, and the archive’

This talk is part of the Film Screenings and Talks series.

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