True Story Podcast

True Story, episode 8: An Ordinary Country

2. 1. 2021

Author: IDF

When footage from the Polish Secret Service archives of the Institute of National Remembrance were revealed to filmmaker Tomasz Wolski, his passion for Polish history awakened the need to create An Ordinary Country (Zwyczajny kraj); a haunting and important rememberance about surveillance. Nicole J. Adelman and Tomasz Wolski discuss our current behaviors and how to frame, and possibly protect, our privacy and our abilities to improve our lives.

Listen to the True Story podcast on Soundcloud | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Podbean | Anchor 



They were everywhere, though they tried to be invisible. Filming from hiding in restaurants, on the street, in shops. They registered illegal bottling of regulated fuel, lovers meeting in the hotel. They wiretapped phone calls with a man living abroad, during which Poles placed orders for hemorrhoid ointment. They filmed interviews during which, through blackmail, they carried out the process of breaking a detainee to persuade them to cooperate. Another time, they interrogated a woman from whom they required detailed billing of household expenses, including the type of meat and the number of butter cubes used. ‘An Ordinary Country’ is a found footage creative documentary based on film and videotapes recorded by officers of the Polish communist security services in the 1960s through the 1980s.

The film was presented at East Doc Market 2019, got awards at Visions du Réel 2020 and Krakow Film Festival 2020 and had screenings at IDFA, FIDBA, Cottbus and other international festivals.

Listen to the True Story podcast on Soundcloud | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Podbean | Anchor 

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