The political unrest that took place in 1980 by the “Solidarity” movement created the possibility of a future dialog between the people and the ruling Communist Party. As usual, many students joined the “rebellion and protests” for the autonomy of the student body within Polish Universities and their own representation and sovereignty without the supervision of the Party.When they did not reach their goal by 1981, the students of Lodz University began a substantial strike that ended with a success, though it was pacified when Martial Law was instigated in December 1981.
The film consists of interviews with the participants and witnesses of these events, archival materials, and dramatized sequences. Among the dramatized sequences is the pacification of the protests by ZOMO at the intersection of Skladowa, University, and Narutowicz streets filmed with a few hundred extras, armored cars, and riot-gear wielding ZOMO officers. There is also the dramatization of the students storming the Dean’s office and the violent intervention of ZOMO forces against protesting students at the University’s School of Law.
The film commemorates the 25th anniversary of the students’ occupation of the school’s offices. Through the use of actual participants of the strike (members of the Independent Student Union at the time) and students currently enrolled at the university (also members of the Independent Student Union), the film reconstructs the strike that ended in the death of a female student protester.
The incorporation of the participants of the strike allows them to pass on the spirit of the events’ time and place, and to give their younger colleagues, as well as the viewer and idea of the bravery and sacrifices made in 1981. Ending with an altruistic message, the film proposes that the lessons of the past can benefit the future.