A VENTANA FILM BY CLAUS RICHTER
In his documentary, Claus Richter analyses Poland's current political and social development and explains the background to the takeover of power by the national-conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) exactly one year ago. Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski ousted the Constitutional Court, brought the judiciary into line with the state and nationalised the media. The country is more divided than ever before.
Anyone who criticises the policies of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) is officially considered a "low-class Pole" and a traitor. Many people feel reminded of communist times. One year after the PiS election victory, concerns are growing in Poland and Europe about the future of the young democracy.
For months, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to defend the hard-won freedom. The country is more divided than ever before. On the one side is liberal, cosmopolitan Poland, especially in the big cities.
On the other side, Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his PiS party have mobilised the conservative, rural, poorer Poles, whereby he can rely on the support of large parts of the Catholic Church. Bit by bit, the ideas of a controlled democracy are being put into practice in parliament: The Constitutional Court has been stripped of its power, the judiciary trimmed to the state's course and the media nationalised. Ex-president Lech Walesa warns of civil war.
Kaczynski's declared goal is a new Polish republic that turns away from Western Europe and also from Germany and wants to create a nation state with socialist features. This also includes an attempt to rewrite history since the fall of communism in 89/90.
Critics are left with the hope that Kaczynski and his arch-conservative government will one day realise that national solo efforts in the EU are doomed to failure, if only for economic reasons. In this respect, the opening words of the Polish national anthem remain relevant today: "Poland is not yet lost".
- A Ventana production for ZDF and ARTE
- 55 minutes