A Cinematic Adaptation of the Original Stage Production Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski,
Produced by Sobremesa Media in association with The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University
Premiering on PBS Wisconsin
February 13, 2023 at 8 pm
Clips on the PBS website
From the Jan Karski Educational Foundation website: "All I can say is that I saw it, and it is the truth." In a virtuoso solo performance, Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck, Lincoln, Nomadland) portrays Jan Karski in this genre-defying true story of a reluctant World War II hero and Holocaust witness. After surviving the devastation of the Blitzkrieg, Karski swears allegiance to the Polish Underground and risks his life to carry the first eyewitness reports of war-torn Poland to the Western world, and ultimately, the Oval Office. Escaping a Gestapo prison, bearing witness to the despair of the Warsaw ghetto and confronted by the inhumanity of a death camp, Karski endures unspeakable mental anguish and physical torture to stand tall in the halls of power and speak the truth. Strathairn captures the complexity and legacy of this self-described "insignificant, little man" whose timely story of moral courage and individual responsibility can still shake the conscience of the world.
From the Jewish Film Festival website: Professor Jan Karski’s secret past as a member of the Polish underground was uncovered in 1978 by filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, who included his emotional testimony in Shoah (1985), after 35 years of near-obscurity and silence. Starring the brilliant David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck; Nomadland), who reprises his original role from the highly acclaimed one-man stage play, Karski’s life is recounted in harrowing, mesmerizing detail. Faithfully adherent to the experience of the original one-man show, this cinematic adaptation of Remember This recreates the pared-down, abstract staging of “one table and two chairs." Yet they become a professor’s lectern, a devastated Warsaw, a Nazi train, the Oval Office.” Other bold formal decisions dramatically heighten the intimacy of this experience, such as the use of a single camera with a 50mm lens, the closest equivalent to the normal human field of vision, and the film’s black and white palette. The stylistic flourish of shooting in widescreen almost dares us to look away from Strathairn, only to find emptiness. These stark visuals allow the virtuosity of Strathairn’s performance and his dynamic, shape-shifting presence to take center stage in creating a world for us out of only his face and his voice, to captivating and haunting effect.
Check also the REMEMBER THIS website