A historical film about Tadeusz Kościuszko made its debut in Polish theatres

A new film, “Kos”, telling the story of the legendary Tadeusz Kościuszko made its debut in Polish theatres on Friday 26 January.  

The plot of the long-awaited film takes place in 1794, with General Tadeusz “Kos” Kościuszko making his way back home to lead a patriotic uprising against the Russian forces occupying his homeland. In an interview given to the Polish Press Agency (PAP), director Paweł Maślona referred to Quentin Tarantino as “the film’s godfather”, because of the inspiration he took from the American director. 

Filip Bajon, the jury’s director, said that the film “delights not only with its bold breaking of film conventions, but also captivates with its amazing acting, consistency, and creativity […]”

In an article for the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, redactor Agnieszka Niemojewska wrote that the film has “a fast-paced and well-thought-out script […] sometimes funny dialogues, not devoid of bitter irony even about the greatest sanctities […] and also interesting and expressively played main characters”. 

Tadeusz Kościuszko grew up in what is today Western Belarus. He started a military career at a young age. At the age of 20, he joined the Cadet Corps of the Knight School and participated in a special engineering course for outstanding students. He graduated from the school as a captain.

Due to the reorganisation of the Knight School in 1769, he went to Paris, where he studied at the Academy of Painting and Sculpture. He then returned to Poland for a short time in 1774, but in the absence of any prospects of finding employment in a small army, he left for Dresden.

In the mid-1770s, Kościuszko moved to North America, where he took part in the American Revolutionary War as a colonel in the Continental Army. His actions contributed to the surrender of some British forces at Saratoga. He also built numerous bridges that enabled the American forces to leave the encirclement several times. In March 1780 he was nominated an engineer of the American army. Three years later, the Continental Congress promoted him to brigadier general.

Upon returning to Poland in 1784, Kościuszko was commissioned as a major general in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth Army in 1789. After the Polish–Russian War of 1792 resulted in the Second Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, he commanded an uprising against the Russian Empire in March 1794 before being captured. The defeat of the Kościuszko Uprising led to the Commonwealth’s Third Partition in 1795.


Image: Łukasz Bąk

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen


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