Saturday, June 2, 2018

PIOTR SZKOPIAK (The Last Witness) Interview! (6/1/18)

Our distinguished guest is world renowned director, PIOTR SZKOPIAK. He is with us tonight to discuss his second feature film, which has just made a big splash in Europe, The Last Witness. It deals with the terrible Katyn Massacre (genocide) perpetrated by the Soviet Communists during WWII when they murdered over 22,000 Poles. 

Everyone needs to see this great movie and bring awareness to this forgotten Left-wing evil!

The movie stars Alex Pettyfer, Michael Gambon, Robert Wieckiewicz, & Talulah Riley. It was produced by Vicarious Productions and is represented worldwide by GFM Films. It was released theatrically in Poland on 156 screens on May 11th. It was released in the US on VOD and Digital HD on May 29th. It will be released on DVD next week on June 5th.

His first feature film, Small Time Obsession, was selected to play in competition at the British and Irish Film Festival in France and as part of the UK Film Series in New Zealand. Both Variety and The Guardian described him as “a director to watch”.

Piotr works regularly as a director in television drama for the BBC and ITV, most recently as lead director on new BBC crime drama Shakespeare & Hathaway. He was twice nominated for BAFTA TV Awards.

His Website is:

It's England, 1947. And a young, ambitious journalist risks love, career and ultimately his life to uncover the true identity of an Eastern European refugee and his connection to the British government’s collusion in the cover up of one of Stalin's most notorious crimes...

In post-war Bristol, neophyte journalist STEPHEN UNDERWOOD (Alex Pettyfer) is keen to prove his worth in a society where everyone is taught to know his or her place and not to question authority. He works for a local newspaper and yearns to break a big story while his editor, FRANK HAMILTON (Michael Gambon), is happy to keep him reporting on nothing more controversial than local community events. However, when Stephen stumbles across the suicide of a Polish soldier from the local Displaced Persons' camp, he disregards Hamilton's objections and follows his instincts.

Stephen heads to the camp to question the commanding officer, his estranged brother, CAPTAIN JOHN UNDERWOOD (Gwilym Lee), but John is far from happy to see him and is reluctant to answer any questions. Stephen meets COLONEL JANUSZ PIETROWSKI (Will Thorp), formerly of the Polish Second Corps (under British command) and now a Liaison Officer for the resettlement of Polish troops. When Stephen mentions the suicide, Pietrowski explains that many Poles had lost all hope since their homeland was occupied by Soviet Russia and many fear for their lives but Stephen remains skeptical.

Stephen is also intimately involved with JEANETTE MITCHELL (Talulah Riley), a Junior Commander in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, who works under his brother at the DP camp. She is trapped in a marriage of convenience with a homosexual military intelligence officer, MASON MITCHELL (Henry Lloyd-Hughes). Both Stephen and Jeanette dream of escaping to London and starting a new life together and in the course of a clandestine meeting in a local public house, Stephen witnesses a confrontation between a new arrival at the camp, MICHAEL LOBODA (Robert Wieckiewicz), and a local farmer. During the argument Loboda inadvertently claims he is Russian and not Polish. 

Curious as to what a Russian is doing posing as a Polish refugee, Stephen questions Loboda. Loboda believes his life is in danger but will not say why and threatens to kill Stephen if he presses him further. Undaunted, Stephen steals a small metal cash-box from Loboda's belongings whilst he is asleep. Inside the box he finds a bloodstained diary belonging to a young Polish cadet but before Stephen can determine its significance, Loboda disappears from the camp in mysterious circumstances.

Thus begins Stephen's journey into the unknown and his discovery that Loboda is in fact the last witness left in the West who could testify to the execution of Polish nationals by Stalin's secret police in 1940 and that the diary is conclusive proof of their guilt. He then becomes embroiled in a dangerous and multi-layered conspiracy to suppress the truth about the killings.


Polish Studies at CCSU