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‘Furious’ minister attacks Agnieszka Holland’s border film

The film, 'Green Border', follows a fictional group of refugees trying to get into Poland from Belarus.
Kino Helios Polska/YouTube

Poland’s interior minister has criticised a new film by acclaimed director Agnieszka Holland about the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, calling it false, and a “brutal attack” on the Polish Border Guard.

The film, ‘Green Border’, follows a fictional group of refugees trying to get into Poland from Belarus. Once across the frontier, however, they are sent back by Polish Border Guards, apparently indifferent to their plight.

‘Green Border’ premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival to great critical acclaim, and is seen as a strong contender for the prestigious Golden Lion award.

“The film, which unfortunately has already been made and is being shown at international festivals, is not a real film, it is false,” said Mariusz Kaminski on Polish Radio on Thursday. “It is a testimony to the political views of Agnieszka Holland, who consciously manipulates our emotions. I am furious.

“I saw the trailer of this film online, but I also read the reviews and opinions of people who saw it,” he added. “This is unacceptable. This is a brutal attack on the Polish Border Guard, on the Polish uniform, completely falsely showing what is happening there.”

He added that “Agnieszka Holland does not tell the truth with this film, it does not show what is really going on there”.

“These are not war refugees. These are illegal migrants who want to improve their lot,” said Kaminski.

“Illegal migrants, in agreement with Moscow, are used by the Belarusian regime for its own purposes, i.e. to destabilize the situation in the countries bordering Belarus and Russia. As a consequence, if these plans were implemented, it would be an attempt to destabilise the European Union,” the minister added.

His words followed in the wake of an attack on the film by Zbigniew Ziobro, the justice minister, who on Monday likened it to Nazi propaganda.

“In the Third Reich, the Germans produced propaganda films showing Poles as bandits and murderers. Today they have Agnieszka Holland for this,” he wrote on X.

Responding to Ziobro’s comment, Holland wrote in a statement that Ziobro must “publish an appropriate statement containing an apology” and make a donation of PLN 50,000 (EUR 10,900) to the Children of the Holocaust Association.

Holland also warned that if she had no apology after seven days she would take legal action.

‘Green Border’ hits cinema screens just as Poland gears up for an election for which the Polish government has put controlling migration at the forefront of its election campaign.

Two out of the four questions on a referendum the government plans to hold on the same day as the general election on October 15 relate to migration. 

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