The 2010 Katyń Families Association

Warsaw's National Opera hosted on Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. the premiere of "Smoleńsk," a film by veteran award-winning director Antoni Krauze about the 2010 plane crash which killed 96 people, including former Polish President Lech Kaczyński.

Polish leaders and families of the crash victims attended the premiere Monday of a divisive movie that supports a theory that the 2010 plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others was an assassination orchestrated by Russia. President Andrzej Duda attended the screening of the movie, along with the twin brother of the killed president, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is the ruling conservative party's leader.

Andrzej Duda

The crash in western Russia was among Poland's greatest tragedies since World War II and sparked speculations as to its causes. Polish and Russian official reports blamed bad landing conditions in dense fog at Smolensk airport and pointed to pilot error.

Antoni Krauze Directed by veteran filmmaker Antoni Krauze, the feature looks at the event through the eyes of an investigative journalist with a large commercial television station who is trying to probe into all the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.


Krauze said the film was a "protest against the manipulations with the truth."


"There were lies from the very start," he said. "It is still unclear why the plane which should have pulled up and  gone to another airport instead crashed into thousands of pieces."


The film is based on findings by a party commission whose experts say there was an explosion before the crash.

Krauze has said in several interviews that an attempt to make a film about the Smolensk tragedy – in his view the most tragic event in Polish history since World War Two – was for him not only a great challenge but also a civic duty of an artist.

He stressed that it was his hope that all Poles, irrespective of their political views, would accept the fact that the search for truth about the causes of the Smolensk catastrophe is their common task.


According to a survey by the CBOS Institute conducted last April, the 6th anniversary of the crash, Poles continue to be divided in their views on the outcome of the investigation into the causes of the tragedy.


According to 29 percent of Poles all of its circumstances have been fully explained. Thirty percent claim that further investigation is needed, while a further 30 percent of the respondents believe that no explanation has in fact been presented so far.


The screenplay of “Smoleńsk” is by Tomasz Łysiak, Antoni Krauze, Maciej Pawlicki (also the film’s producer) and Marcin Wolski.


Lech Łotocki, appears as President Lech Kaczyński and Ewa Dałkowska, as the First Lady. Music is by Michał Lorenc, one of Poland’s leading composers of film soundtracks. The film goes on general release on Friday and will have a special screening at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia on 21 September.


Antoni Krauze’s credentials include “Black Thursday”, a feature focusing on the tragic events in the Baltic ports in December 1970, during which, according to official data, 44 people were killed and over 1,160 wounded after the communist police opened fire on the demonstrators protesting against a series of sudden price increases.



Source: Associated Press,