DVD Release date: 27 August
The Last Witness, a historical thriller by Piotr Szkopiak based on the conspiracy surrounding the Katyn Massacre, is to be released on DVD this August. The film stars Alex Pettyfer, Michael Gambon, Talulah Riley, Robert Więckiewicz and Will Thorp.
The story begins in England, 1947. Journalist Stephen sets out to uncover the cause of a recent series of suicides committed by resettled Polish soldiers. The investigation soon leads him down a rabbit hole of conspiracy that culminates with the discovery of the harrowing Katyn Massacre, an atrocity carried out by Stalin’s secret police in 1940 against 22,000 Polish military and civilians. Knowledge of the massacre has been ruthlessly suppressed, and powerful interests are at work to keep it that way.
This was a fatal turning-point in the war for Poland, where it is still commemorated each year. It is a story close to the heart of Szkopiak, whose grandfather was executed at Katyn. Szkopiak's mother was then deported to Siberia in 1940, eventually making it out and settling in England in 1947. In the wake of the recent Windrush scandal, Britain is finally confronting its difficult history of post-war migration. This film serves as a timely reminder of the lesser-known experiences of the many Polish veterans and civilians resettled here in the 1940s, as their country came under the iron grip of Soviet totalitarianism that would last more than 40 years. Szkopiak's film masterfully depicts the cover-up of this historical tragedy and shows its relevance to British history.