My grandmother Kazimiera Bieniawska is my inspiration.
She turns 91 years old in 2017. She raised me in Poland in a spirit of patriotism, freedom and respect. She is an extraordinary person who remembers her life events
In February 1940, along with her parents and five siblings, she was sent to the Siberian work camps. After a month-long journey in an animal train with almost no food, water or facilities, along with thousands of other Polish and Ukrainian families, she arrived in Siberia. There, for two and half years, starving, she worked in the most humiliating and penurious conditions in forests, chopping trees and building roads.
Due to the change in the political situation in 1943, Poles in Siberia were free to migrate. Many of them were called to the army, as my grandmother was, and she joined the Polish Emilia Plater 1st Independent Women’s Battalion.
When I talked to her I realized how lonely she was, as all her friends have passed away and how many older people treasure a simple conversation, and the opportunity
to recount stories from their lives. I would like to witness and record those conversations and stories for their families, communities and other generations.
My film about her, taken from almost 3 hours of footage, has just been completed. It is going to be kept as a family treasure and sent to various museum
and documentary film festivals.
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