On my way to the Eastern Partnership summit this morning, I picked up a free copy of the Polish version of the newspaper "Metro," expecting that the current meeting in Warsaw, which brings together heads of governments from most EU countries and the six Eastern partner countries, would top the headlines.
Instead, the front page is covered by an ad for a Polish film that premieres today, "The 1920 Battle of Warsaw" (1920 Bitwa Warszawska). The film depicts an event in the 1919-21 Polish-Soviet war that's sometimes referred to as the "Miracle on the Vistula." That's when the Polish Army halted the advancing Red Army near the Polish capital, pushed it back, and -- in many patriotic Poles' interpretation of history -- stopped communism from spreading across the continent.
The film is one of the most expensive and technically elaborate films ever produced in Poland, and on the following pages "Metro" raves that it is worth seeing not only because of the "super production" but because "one can be proud of this part of history."
Judging from the pictures, it looks like an epic tale of good and evil, with young, beautiful actors playing historical figures. Jerzy Hoffman is directing the film, and he certainly has a penchant for churning out stories about Poland's glorious past.
The Eastern Partnership summit only merits a brief mention a few pages later. It was supposed to be one of the highlights of Poland's six months as EU president, but it will deliver few concrete results.
When the partnership was initiated two years ago, Warsaw hoped it would be the first step toward EU membership for countries like Ukraine. Poland may have stopped the Red Army, but it will take time before it manages to push back the eastern frontier of the EU and free the partner countries from Russia's menacing influence.
It certainly seems like Hoffman will have to look elsewhere for inspiration for his next film.
-- Rikard Jozwiak