The documentary “The President” takes one on a personal journey giving an insider view of 20th and current 21st century hopes, betrayals, traumas, and shattered dreams of a country called Poland, in the heart of Europe. The story, as told through the words of those who witnessed his life firsthand, follows the life of Lech Kaczynski on his journey as a young, Solidarity leader, through his rise to the Presidency, then to his tragic death in Smolensk, Russia. This is an almost unbelievable real-life story of, intrigue, backroom dealings, political chess-games, betrayal, and a mysterious, implausible death onboard a Presidential plane, flying to Smolensk to commemorate a genocide of 70 years earlier.
But this is not the end of his legacy and the story is about more than that…it is a conviction and indictment of all those who aided and embedded the purveyors of the aberration of democracy who had and still have root in his country. He, the voice of the people, sought for justice- time and time again for the people of Poland fighting valiantly against communism. His efforts were constantly thwarted by those who wished this other regime to embalm Poland. His fearlessness and magnetic voice echoed through Europe and neighboring Baltic Countries, striking fear in the mind of those wishing to invade and encumber those lands without being stood up to. The red “Giant” had met “David” with a slingshot.
Much of Lech’s fight started during the Solidarity era. Poignantly called, “God’s Playground”, Poland has had its share of tectonic shifts throughout its long and arduous history. The emergence of Solidarity in the 1980’s purportedly marked the end of one epoch and the beginning of another without communism or so were the hopes and dreams of the 38 million people of this nation. Lech Kaczynski epitomized these very dreams and was a driving force and catalyst behind many advances toward true democracy. But not all thought like Lech. There were fortunes at stake and loyalties that played out on the political scene, and he became their victim.
Written by Stokrotka
The story of Lech Kaczynski is told by:
Jaroslaw Kaczynski - the President's brother Wlodzimierz Resiak - Between 2006-2010, the President's cameraman Zofia Kruszynska-Gust - Deputy Chief of Staff Bernadeta Karczewska - between 2006-2010, top executive in the Lech Kaczynski's Office of Culture, Science, and National Heritage Maciej Lopinski - President's Chief of Staff Barbara Fedyszak-Radziejowska - between 2007-2011, President's liaison with the Institute of National Remembrance, IPN Ryszard Bugaj - Economist, Member of the Presidential Advisory Board on Public Policy Jaroslaw Sellin - Historian, Politician. After April 10, 2010 Jaroslaw Sellin has been lecturing about the political legacy of Lech Kaczynski.
Also see: Jurgen Roth's "Verschlussakte-S" ("Secret File 'S' - Smolensk, MH17, and Putin's War in Ukraine") - Excerpts
“The placement of explosives on board the Presidential TU-154M would have been impossible without the involvement of the Polish services” - Excerpts from Jurgen Roth’s “Verschlussakte S”
There is no doubt that the conduct of the official Polish and Russian government institutions in the aftermath of the Smolensk Crash, left a wide field for speculation on the causes of the April 10, 2010 tragedy. Not surprisingly, the conspiracy theories that began to emerge immediately after the crash, found a fertile ground - writes the German investigative journalist Jürgen Roth in the introduction to his book about the Smolensk crash, entitled "Verschluss Akte S" (Eng. “Secret File ‘S’”), that made its debut in Germany several days ago.
Written and Produced by: Joanna Lichocka & Jaroslaw Rybicki, Directors Music: Michal Lorenc Director of Photography: Piotr Niemyjski Additional Footage: - Piotr Michalski, Tomasz Nowak, Marcin Wladyniak Archival Footage & Photography: Wlodzimierz Resiak, Jacek Strzegocki Editing: Pawel Nowak Produced by: Independent Polish Producers, Gazeta Polska
The learn more about the Smolensk Crash see this documentary's companion, "THE FOG"
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Already during the first night of the crash, the Russians were removing the most important pieces of evidence from the crash site, that is, the remains of the Polish President’s Tupolev, TU-154M. Parts of the aircraft were transported away without any prior planning, and some of them were purposefully destroyed. Read more here
"Russian Image Management"
The trip to Smolensk was expected to highlight Russia finally admitting culpability in the massacre, after long having blamed it on the Germans, an atrocity they had tried to conceal for over 70 years.
As for the reception committee, it had different ideas. Putin wasn’t looking forward to such an occasion. Into this poisonous reception brew was President Kaczynski’s well-known public criticism of Moscow and Putin, a habit that has ended the lives of others within Russia – and abroad. A few discouraging Russian requirements – that Kaczynski could not attend in any official capacity – did not halt the Poles. Kaczynski would go anyway on non-official, “personal” business. To Russians, such a distinction would be meaningless, not lessening the possible international excoriation of such an event. A problem ripe for a modern, Russian solution: a tragic, ‘natural’ accident.
Black boxes were very quickly recovered and analyzed by the independent experts in Great Britain. Wreckage of the plane was transported back to the country from which it took off for its last journey. All the pieces were painstakingly and carefully reconstructed by the experts. Autopsies were conduced immediately after the victims were brought back to their country. All the actions were conducted under Prime Minister's emphatic approach and the victims' families were given undivided attention and care by the authorities every step of the way. This is how the Netherlands explain the MH17's tragedy.
Compared to the Smolensk crash the differences are startling.
It is Saturday morning at the Air-Base in Gilze-Rijen, near Breda. This is where the families of the victims of the MH17 crash have been coming for the past few days to see the remnants of the plane in which their loved ones died. Few private cars enter through the automatic gate, later followed by a white coach and the mini bus with the Dutch government insignia. A little later one more coach arrived. One could notice grief-stricken faces behind the windows, both adult and those of children. Unlike the victims' families, the journalists are not allowed to enter the Air-Base. - We promised them privacy during this overwhelming moment, because this is how it should be perceived. However, if they would like to speak with you, then we don't mind – we are told by Jeannette van der Kloet who looks after the families on behalf of OVV. Jeannette explains that OVV is The Dutch Safety Board, which conducts the investigation into the crash independently of the prosecutor's office.
It is difficult to even find an analog in history to these events. Deaths that befall much of a nation's leadership aren't usually accidents, either legitimate or designed to look like such.
Of course, part of this is that any major accident wiping out a good measure of a nation's leadership is invariably assured of some investigation by disinterested parties - except in this case, where the Russian government had the "boots on the ground" and the Polish government soon to be under the administration of Donald Tusk and Bronisław Komorowski, had to choose between consolidation of power and some favorable trade agreements with Russia, or a "delicate" situation ...
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