Movie Review: Katyn (2007) – Polish Movie

KATYN poster

Finally diving into Polish cinema, I thought I would start off by watching one of the country’s most acclaimed films from one the country’s best directors. Andrzej Wajda‘s 2007 Best Foreign Language Film nominee KATYN is a powerful wartime-historical-drama  about the infamous Katyn massacre. For me, the film held similar emotion and significance as Defiance (2008) and Schindler’s List (1993).

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The film managed a solid plot line and pace without undermining the tragic story. Likewise, I feel that it held its integrity in dealing with specific WW2 content, much of which was quite morbid, unjust and inhumane. KATYN, is a film that overcomes the controversies and politics that covered up a massacre for 50 years and tells the world that the Polish people have continued to live.

Plot Summary

“An examination of the Soviet slaughter of thousands of Polish officers and citizens in the Katyn forest in 1940. ” (IMDb)

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The Katyn massacre is a topic I was ignorant to until coming across this film. I probably spent equal time (to the film’s duration) on Google/  Wikipedia reading details of the massacre and surrounding events before I finally hit the play button. I think the film holds its weight in context to both  the educated and uneducated viewers. Social Studies/ History was one of my favourite subjects throughout high school because I’m a firm believer in finding your own facts, searching for your own answers and uncovering your own truths in life.

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Reviews: Rotten Tomatoes // The Guardian //  ITP World //

Articles: Film/ Director background // NY Books

Did you know: the film was based on a book

Did you know: the film was personal for the director because his father was a victim

aparoo’s words: history, war, world war II, drama, memorial, massacre, propaganda, Soviets, Nazi-Germany, Poland, occupation, freedom, injustice

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aparoo says: 5/5

Stream: YouTube (720p HD)

Lust, Caution (2007) – Chinese Movie – Review

Lust, Caution cover 1

Lust, Caution is not short of being another master-piece by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) than it is another one of his controversial films (Brokeback Mountain). FYI, the films aforementioned have both won an OscarLust, Caution has a long list of nominations and awards itself. Its to no surprise that the espionage thriller (and perhaps erotic) film was based on a novella — by Elieen Chang whom is known for her love-tension fiction.

lust, caution 2007 pic 1

The movie itself is quite long, so the “caution” and “lust” is quite drawn out. The word erotic is often tagged to Lust, Caution for its ‘explicit sex scenes’.  Aside from being a captivating erotic melodrama about forbidden love, its an espionage thriller of great proportion. In the context of a Japanese occupied Shanghai, its actually quite epic.

Full plot (spoiler, don’t even read it, just watch)

“…the story of a group of patriotic Chinese students who hatch a plot to assassinate the Japanese-allied intelligence chief in World War II-era Shanghai.” (Movie247)

English trailer

“An espionage thriller set in WWII-era Shanghai, in which a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee.” (IMDb)

Starring: Tony Leung Chiu-Wai // Tang Wei // Joan Chen // Leehom Wang

Full reviews: Guardian // Rotten Tomatoes // indieLondon // MonkeyPeaches // Mvhit // Gypsyscribe // Sex and the University // Etheriel Musings // NY Times // Telegraph

aparoo’s words: provocative, drama, romance, espionage, thriller, suspense, explicit, erotic, love, lust, passion, sex, politics, revolution, oppression, freedom, war

aparoo says: 5/5

Stream: YouTube (HD)