Polish Director Wajda Honored with Russian State Distinction

World | August 10, 2010, Tuesday // 19:59|  views

Andrzej Wajda. Photo by EPA/BGNES.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev decorated famous Polish film director Andrzej Wajda with the Russian Federation Order of Friendship.

The Order, mostly given to Russian nationals, was awarded to Wajda for his contribution to the good relations between Russia and Poland, which have been marked by a well-known tension for centuries.

Wajda, one of the most prominent representatives of so-called “Polish film school”, has created a great number of award-winning films and is a holder of a honorary Oscar for his contribution to world cinema.

In the context of the Order of Friendship awarding, Wajda's most notable film is his 2007 “Katyn,” telling the story of some 22,000 Polish officers executed in the woods of Russia with permission from the Soviet government in 1940 during the Second World War. Wajda's own father was among those killed.

Up to 1990 the Soviet Union has attributed the mass murder to Nazi Germany, with only in the recent years that senior Russian leaders have started recognize and denounce the act.

Wajda's “Katyn” was shown on Russian national TV as a sign of empathy one day after the April 10 tragedy that claimed the lives of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other Polish servicemen and high-ranking officials when the Polish governmental plane crashed near Smolensk on its way to the official commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.

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Tags: Andrzej Wajda, Dmitry Medvedev, order, film, Katyn, Katyn Massacre, Lech Kaczynski

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