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Jan Ledóchowski



To hear people who saw the film in London click here


Congratulations on a very successful film.  It absorbed me like a thriller.  What an interesting way to present history and how fascinating those uncles. 

What an incredible relatives you have.  I really like how you tell stories.

Of course Aggio, who comes across quite sympathetically, had the advantage of telling his story in hindsight.  I can accept some of his arguments about the imposition of martial war, but I think the predominant motivation was self preservation and the maintenance power.  In my books, Jaruzelski is a traitor and is definitely not on the side of the angels in anything he did.  He was a fully committed card carrying Soviet soldier. 

I was particularly haunted by the figure of Magda, whose personality you evoked powerfully, with great economy.

I suppose however, it is easy for us to criticize from our ivory towers the acts of those who stayed in Poland and collaborated in some way with the regime.  We weren’t there; we weren’t put to the test...  

This film does a lot for other Polish families.  It is also an interesting historical record showing the events and the controversial dilemmas they went through which are not always understood by all, especially here in the West. 

Congratulations on a really interesting film – the story which could serve as an example for all the people in the two opposing “camps” that are offended with each other in today’s modern Polish political arena.

Perhaps today's Polish culture has indeed permanently absorbed Sowiet-communist Party elements which were accepted by the Round Table agreement?...if the descendants of the Morawskis and Horodyńskis... accept this, then I get off here. I do not want to be part of that new Polish-Soviet culture.

Such a clever idea to look at the tragic and complicated and stoic history of Poland through individual family members.  The tragedy and the strength and courage of so many people living through those periods came through, the incredible resilience and risks people took for others and the acknowledgment that there were many different responses to those difficult situations and many influences on people's behaviour.  I thought acknowledging how un-black and white everyone's reactions are was really important and illuminating.

You made a very good film. When a company launches a very good new car, they don't present it in a little courtyard in a sidestreet, they launch it at International Motor Shows in Frankfurt, Geneva, Paris or New York! Yes Sir!

How impressed we were by your fascinating, subtle, multi-faceted film. It is a valuable contribution to history, from the most original of perspectives, and it bravely confronts issues that are complex, difficult, almost unbearably painful.

We also thought that on a technical level it was beautifully presented and edited - for example in the way you interwove different accounts and perspectives of the same events.

What a huge success the film premiere of Uncles and others was on Sunday, congratulations, I found it fascinating. Balanced in so many ways, which is what gave it its strength I think. I am so pleased that you made this wonderful record.

It was extremely interesting, loved the maps and I thought the interviews were very well balanced; I would love to see it again.

I am sure you will easily weather any storms of criticism in Poland and I send you my best wishes for that.

I really applaud it all round and do hope that it will have sufficient momentum to lead you to possibly get into making an English-speaking version. In retrospect I wonder if there would have been any interest from non-Polish media? This might have given some impetus to an English-language version, possibly raising interest in British and US audiences.

An extraordinary summary of 50+ years in Poland's history, through an excellent cast of "actors" namely your family and a few supporting roles. What diction, insight, humour and bearing...as they speak about such dramatic events. The booklet gives excellent background and is most professionally bilingual...so useful for the younger generation...a most professional and historically significant piece of cinematography.

Well Done Jan, indeed! Impressive achievement all round.

For me, Jaruzelski is a traitor!

Thank you for the wonderful film. We much enjoyed it - brilliantly made!

It deserves a wide audience.  Many congratulations!

A fascinating documentary.



"Decadent landowners" and "Traitors" Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw 18th March

There have been rather unusual showings recently in the cinema in Winosfera (31 Chłodna St), a kind of home cinema, which say something important about today's Poland from a family perspective. Using family photo albums Jan Ledóchowski has made a film about his uncles - the Morawski and Horodyński landowner families - but also something more - an outline of Poland's 20th century history. Maciej Morawski, the well known Radio Free Europe journalist, came to the Warsaw Premiere, as did other Morawskis from Poland, representing a range of different opinions, such as Piotr Morawski, son of Aggio Morawski, a senior politician in communist years, who supported General Jaruzelski for avoiding Soviet intervention. In the final scene the two senior uncles, Maciej and Aggio, walk down the gardens of the Little Village palace, smiling at the camera - one feels like saying, this is Poland. Their London cousin, jokingly calling himself an "African", is trying to show that the émigré "decadent landowners" and those who stayed in Poland, sometimes called "traitors", were serving the same Poland and looked at the Round Table agreement as an act of conciliation. Dominik Horodyński clearly sets out the "guilt" of those who worked within the system imposed upon Poland in 1945. When filmed by Ledóchowski several years ago he said "Fighting Stalin, when we had just lost against Hitler, made no sense whatsoever". Perhaps a film director would like to make a serial about post war Poland using the story of these families for the script? When someone accused Ledóchowski of supporting some kind of reconciliation among Poles, he replied "Yes, I am guilty of that". At times I got the feeling that this amateur "African" understands Poland well and has something important to say.

For full article click here

Polska The Times 6.3.2015

"My cousin worked with Jaruzelski..."

"All Poles should see this film" -
Polish Weekly 14th February 2014

The film's author told us that a debate continues until today between those Poles who argued "we must fight for independence, otherwise we will never be independent" and those who replied "but if we never stop fighting for independence, we will all be dead"....

It is one of those films that one should watch with concentration, ideally several times, to get all the nuances...

It provokes discussion and engraves itself in one's memory...

Kazimierz "Aggio" Morawski's striking words "we should put a statue up for General Jaruzelski" contrasted with Maciej "Matt" Morawski's memories of working for Radio Free Europe, on the other side of the iron curtain. The audience responded to conflicting statements with applause and growls of disapproval.

"Uncles" is an exceptionally important witness of events, not only for the exile community, but also for all Poles. It will be especially interesting to see the reaction of young people in Poland today, who tend to see history in black and white terms...

A documentary which keeps the tension going, like a drama, until the very last scene, even though we surely all know how it is going to end...

All Poles should see this film.

Magdalena Grymkowska


(extracts translated by Jan Ledóchowski)






For full article click here

Puls Biznesu Warsaw 18.02.2015

This film is definitely worth seeing...

Kurier Warszawski 10.3.2015

Settling the past...Jan Ledóchowski has attempted something unprecedented...a historical documentary showing the complicated fates of three landowning families. What futures did they choose under communism? It shows how...attitudes and actions in our history can only be described in shades of grey,...that one should not reach hasty conclusions or make extreme judgements.

Interia 10.3.2015

Cousins on opposite sides of the barricade...the Second World War took away their childhood and closest family. Afterwards a change of occupier split the family...



Information on living family members will be included in this website only if submitted or approved by them. Informacja o żyjących członkach rodziny może zostać umieszczona na tych stronach jedynie w wypadku gdy dana osoba wyrazi zgodę. Jan Ledóchowski