- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 57 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: February 1, 2011
- Originally Released: 1989
- Label: Sony Pictures Home
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Directed by Agniezska Holland, this gripping and chilling drama is based on the true story of political unrest in Poland prior to the fall of communism and Father Jerzy Popieluszko, the Solidarity chaplain who was murdered by the secret police in 1984. Christopher Lambert is Father Alek, a Polish labor union chaplain at Saint Sebastian's church in Warsaw. All gathered within the great church adore him, save one - the police captain, Stefan (Ed Harris), who believes this priest who dares to mix prayers with politics is a threat to his country. Stefan sets him up for harboring a deserter, but his plan is foiled when his commanding officer (Joss Ackland) releases Alek. For his part, Alek is warned by his bishop to abandon his political activities or be sent to Rome. Undaunted by his initial failure and with the covert support of his superiors, Stefan devises a more effective way of dealing with the "threat." Newly remastered.
Agnieszka Holland directs this sincere, moving political drama about Poland in 1981, and the birth of the Solidarity movement that advocated freedom, gaining a fervent following that greatly threatened the government. The film focuses on two men--Father Alek (Christopher Lambert), a young priest who preaches human rights and supports the outlawed Solidarity union; and Stefan (Ed Harris), a communist officer whose philosophies are on the opposite end of the spectrum. As the story unfolds, Stefan's less-than-noble intentions become painfully evident, his hatred for the sensitive, beloved Father Alek stemming from an internal demon that threatens to explode at any moment. When his superior officer (Joss Ackland) gives him approval to handle the situation however he chooses, he teams up with Feliks (Tim Roth) and Igor (Timothy Spall) to track down the priest and another sympathetic supporter of the movement, Josef (Pete Postlethwaite). Based on the true story of Father Jerzy Popielusko, Holland's film features impassioned performances from Lambert, Harris, and Postlethwaite.
This fact-based political drama about the tragic downfall of Polish priest Father Jerzy Popielusko, an outspoken advocate of the Solidarity movement, chronicles the clergyman's undoing at the hands of a brutal communist officer, featuring strong performances from Christopher Lambert, Ed Harris, Pete Postlethwaite, and Tim Roth.
- Theatrical release: September 7, 1988 (Paris); November 25, 1988 (London); October 13, 1989 (Chicago).
- Shot at Studio S.F.P., Paris, as well as Lille, Lyon, Versailles, Jura, and Picardie, France.
- The film's estimated budget was $10 million.
- The picture began shooting October 5, 1987, and completed shooting January, 1988.
- It was shown at the Montreal World Film Festival August 24-September 4, 1988.
- "Church Song" was composed by Zbigniew Preisner and Lacrimosa from The Requiem of Verdi. "The Crimes of Cain" was adapted and performed by Joan Baez.