Original title: Uciekinier
Copyright: Zoyda Art Production, Telewizja Polska S. A. Program I, 2007
Length: 56 min.
Original language: Polish
English subtitles: yes
Director and writer: Marek Tomasz Pawłowski
Camera operator: Jacek Januszyk
Editor: Jan Mikołaj Mironowicz
Music: Michał Lorenc
Scenery: Andrzej Czyczyło
Producer: Małgorzata Walczak
Featuring: Kazimierz Piechowski
Among the many documentaries about World War II, Marek Pawlowski's The Runaway stands out by addressing a largely unknown subject: the Polish-Ukrainian camaraderie forged by resistance to the Nazis in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
"I've been on the run all my life: During WWII from the Germans, a few times from death in Auschwitz, after the war from the Reds …," says Kazimierz Piechowski, the principal protagonist of The Runaway.
On June 20, 1942, Piechowski and three fellow prisoners managed to escape from Auschwitz. The mastermind behind the carefully orchestrated plan was a Ukrainian prisoner and mechanic, Yevhen (Gienek) Bendera, whom Piechowski had befriended.
The Runaway is a true story of friendship between two prisoners, a Pole and a Ukrainian, whose solidarity, perseverance, and will to survive help them to overcome the Nazi killing machine and, by their daring escape, to set an example that inspired thousands of prisoners who stayed behind. The film is riveting in its detailed account of the planning and execution of their escape. Masterfully combining an eyewitness narrative by Kazimierz Piechowski with rich documentary evidence, including never before seen photographs of Auschwitz, director Marek Pawlowski brings back to life a real story, full of suspense and drama.
The Runaway won the Bronze Medal at the New York Film Festival's World's Best Television & Films competition in 2008, the People's Choice Award at the Cracow Film Festival in 2007, and the Best Director Award at the Moscow Zolotoy Vityaz in 2008.
Marek Tomasz Pawłowski is a director, screenwriter, and producer. A graduate of the Theatre Academy in Warsaw, he collaborates with the Polish National Television (including feature documentaries and plays for Teatr Telewizji, Poland's longest-running TV theater series) and with German television. Among his best known documentaries are Forbidden Love: The Story of Bronia and Gerhard (2002), Uciekinier/The Runaway (2006) and Cyrk ze złamanym sercem/The Heartbroken Circus (2009). His current documentary film project A Touch of an Angel will have its world premier in late January 2014.
Watch a preview >>>