From my movie review in The American Conservative:
It often seems as if humanity's seven decade struggle with Communism has disappeared down the memory hole. While Nazis in glistening black leather remain our culture's omnipresent exemplars of evil, Communists were apparently too dowdy to bother remembering.
A few filmmakers have begun to dissent, however. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's superb drama about the East German secret police, "The Lives of Others," won the 2006 Best Foreign Film Oscar and ran for a half year in American art houses.
In Warsaw on September 17, 2007, director Andrzej Wajda, recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Oscar, premiered "Katyń," his long-awaited epic about the 1940 Soviet decapitation of the Polish nation in which perished his cavalry officer father. The 82-year-old cinema legend reminisced, "I can’t really talk about him, except to say that he was my ideal and that he died at the age when I needed him the most." The mass murder's cover-up then lasted a half century in Soviet-run Poland: not until 1989 was Wajda free to inscribe the year of his father's death on his tombstone.
A blockbuster in Poland, "Katyń" earned a Best Foreign Film nomination here. It hasn't, though, found an American distributor. Fortunately, you can buy the Polish DVD on eBay for $25. (Look for "English subtitles" and "Region Zero.")
"Katyń" begins September 17, 1939 as Polish civilians flee eastward over a bridge from the invading Germans -- only to collide with countrymen running westward from the Soviets, who, pursuant to August 1939's Hitler-Stalin pact, are now grabbing their share of Poland.
The rest of my review is in the September 8 issue of The American Conservative.