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The New Indian Express: „Operacja Dunaj” w Kerali

Jacek Głomb przerwał niepisaną zmowę, gdy wyreżyserował „Operację Dunaj”. Przez 40 lat sowiecka inwazja na Czechosłowację, która wymusiła na Polsce uczestnictwo w interwencyjnej sforze, była wstydliwie przemilczana w polskiej sztuce i filmie. Jacek uchylił tę kurtynę – pisze z festiwalu filmowego w indyjskiej Kerali Asha P. Nair.

Jacek Glomb was breaking an unwritten code when he directed ‘Operation Danube’. For 40 years, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, which had Poland lined up with the invaders’ gang, remained a hushed-up affair in Polish art and cinema. Jacek let drop the veil.

By getting together with Czech actor-director Jiri Menzel and a Czech-Polish crew, Jacek debuted in filmmaking.

Jacek Glomb, who is in the city for the IFFK with his film „Operation Danube”, which was the code name of the invasion, however, does not carry any airs of having made the entry with a bang. Maybe, it’s the years of theatre experience that makes him a confident, yet humble,  debutant.

Jacek is here with his long-time friend Bartosz Straburzynski, the music composer of the film. Bartosz also plays the translator. „The theme is based on the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, which happened in 1968. There are a lot of people who still remember the history of ‘68. We have given a comic undertone to tell a serious story, so that people do get the message. It’s, after all, a story of human emotions” - Bartosz translates Jacek’s words.

The film is the story of a Polish tank getting stuck in a remote Czech village along the border lines, that too in front of the local bar. The tank was involved in the operation. It goes on to say how the invaders become friends and how finally both the Polish and Czech understand that they are not meant to fight each other, but against the common enemy.

„The incident is a black spot in the relations between the two nations. It has remained so, nobody has talked about it. Maybe everybody likes to be politically correct” - Jacek continues.

The film has already been to a couple of film festivals winning much appreciation. The last being the IFFI at Goa.

The presence of Jiri Menzel, the Oscar-winning actor-director, has added to the charm of the movie. „He was truly professional. Though he is a filmmaker himself, he did not intervene in the direction while being generous with suggestions” - Jacek says.

Bartosz, however, had nothing big to do in „Operation Danube”, he says. „Some movies would demand a lot of musical numbers, but this film wanted music to carry on the story line, as a subtle presence” - he says.

Bartosz and Jacek had got together in 1992. Bartosz has rendered music for innumerable plays made by Jacek, who is also the Director of the Theatre Festival in Poland.

Jacek reasons that his plays are confined to a room and that he wanted a large world to see his work, which is why he made a film. But theatre is something he can’t live without. His theatre group is currently on a tour across the globe and will soon visit India. Probably by the beginning of next year. The troupe will conduct plays in Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and a couple of other cities.

„There are big differences in Indian and Polish theatre. Ours is more musical but here it’s more dramatic. We plan to invite some of the Indian troupes to visit Poland during our theatre festival there” - Jacek turns a theatre man.

(Asha P. Nair, „Breaking an unwritten code”, www.expressbuzz.com, 18.12.2009)
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