European Film Academy Joins Protest Against Polish Public Broadcaster’s Attack on ‘Ida’

European Film Academy Joins Protest Against
Courtesy of Sundance

LONDON — The board of the European Film Academy has backed the Polish Directors’ Guild and more than 90 Polish film journalists in their protest against the treatment of Oscar and European Film Award winner “Ida” by Poland’s public broadcaster TVP.

News of the Polish Directors’ Guild protest was first published in Variety on Monday.

Pawel Pawlikowski’s film, which won the awards for European film, director, screenwriter, cinematographer and the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 European Film Awards, as well as the foreign-language film Oscar last year, was screened on TVP2 on Thursday, following a 12-minute editorial program claiming the film to be inaccurate, alleging that it won an Oscar only because of its pro-Jewish point of view, and adding title cards in such a way that they could have been thought to be part of the film itself.

The EFA board said in a statement: “While the board of the European Film Academy defends the plurality of opinions about films, and the right for open discussions about them, it cannot accept the manipulation of such a discussion by a one-sided judgement preceding its screening.

“The board of the European Film Academy wishes to underline once again its firm belief in the freedom of speech and expression as one of the substantial pillars of modern democracy.”

“The European Film Academy defends the right of all film artists to have their films presented in an unprejudiced, unbiased forum, without any context of manipulation as has happened on TVP in the case of ‘Ida,’” EFA deputy chairman Mike Downey said. “Freedom of expression is crucial on all platforms — as opposed to the liberty of distortion that TVP2 has taken.”

The 29th edition of the European Film Awards takes place on Dec. 10 in Wroclaw, Poland, which is this year’s European Capital of Culture.

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  1. Piotr says:

    This movie was fantastic both in content and execution. It’s sad that partisan politics in Poland are trying to rewrite history and impose their conservative will on art. My family had everything taken away by communists and watching Poland grow over the last twenty five years has been great, albeit with some growing pains. Ex-communists and their children are desperately trying to whitewash their pasts. Said to see it bleed into a film that Poles should be proud of. It’s a sad story but so are many chapters in Polish history.

  2. Mieczyslaw de Woldan says:

    I must have missed the news item, but did the European Film Academy protest against the film “The Imitation Game” that ignored the fact that the Enigma codes had been broken by Polish cryptologists in the 1930’s and Turing did not disciver the methodology but merely automated their work?

    • Ben says:

      Mr. Woldan, things like that happen all the time in movies: In “Argo” the Canadians didn’t get the credit they deserve etc. etc. Make your own movie. But nobody has the right to manipulate an existing work of art in the way Polish TV did. I guess antisemitism is on the rise again in Poland. Shame on your country.

      • Mieczyslaw de Woldan says:

        Well Ben … it is simply not good enough to “guess” and present your biased opinion as if it were fact, unless you have evidence. Shame on you Ben, because you do not. The Kantor Center at the University of Tel Aviv monitors antisemitism worldwide and reports annually. The countries that stand out for antisemitic incidents are: US (80 violent antisemitic incidents), Canada (20), Australia (30), UK (141), France (164), Germany (78), Belgium (30), Italy (23), Ukraine (28) … with Poland at the end of that queue. Incidentally, for the last 3 years of published data, violent incidents against Jews in Poland have remained static in the range 15 to 20 per year. Shame on you Ben!

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