Films about Reconciliation: Polish-Ukrainian Relations on the Screen

June 15, 2015 • Educational, Past Events • Views: 876


Monday, June 29, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM


Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College, CB2 1TQ Cambridge


Free, but booking is required. Please book your ticket here.

A screening of two documentary films treating the historical complications of Polish-Ukrainian-Jewish relations, while presenting opportunities for reconciliation.

5:30 pm:  Three Stories of Galicia

7 pm:       My Friend theEnemy                                                                                                    

8 pm:       Q&A with director of My Friend the Enemy, Wanda Koscia.


Three Stories of Galicia (2010), directed by Sarah Farhat and Olha Onyshko

A Jewish man whose family chose to save the life of its worst enemy. A Ukrainian woman who endured the theft of her children to save her country. A Polish priest who risked everything to end the sectarian hatred that tore at his parish. They all came from a land where the Second World War never ended and where children grow up with the burden of fighting the battles of their grandparents. The land was called Galicia. The people who lived there were Jews, Ukrainians and Poles. When the Second World War erupted, Galicia was caught in the ruthless struggle between Hitler’s Third Reich and Stalin’s Red Army. In their quest to rule the world, those two empires made use of the ethnic jealousies between Ukrainians, Jews and Poles, and fueled some of modern history’s worst ethnic conflicts. But in the midst of evil, where trust had lost its meaning and human life had no value, there were those who were willing to risk what little they had left to do what was right instead of what was easy.

My Friend the Enemy (2014) by Wanda Koscia, including Q&A with the director.

A story from Western Ukraine that is both universal and grimly relevant today. In the summer of 2013 we follow a group of Poles whose families survived massacre by Ukrainian nationalists in 1943. They visit their former homes, now empty fields, and meet their old neighbors. Ukrainians and Poles tell stories of horrific slaughter, but also of complex and moving relations between people who had lived alongside each other for centuries, and of how some Ukrainians risked their lives to save their Polish neighbours. Tales of memory and reconciliation set in a timeless lyrical landscape.

The film was selected for IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary 2014.


This special screening event is part of the conference co-organized by Cambridge Polish Studies and Cambridge Ukrainian Studies – “Past as Prelude: Polish-Ukrainian Relations for the Twenty-First Century”.

The event is also part of the “Kinoteka” Polish Film Club series organized by Cambridge Polish Studies and Polish Waves on Cambridge 105.

Source of information.

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