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photo © Progress Film-Verleih

Can a single person change the course of history? Hardly. Such legends are born at a later time. But a single person can be the catalyst for a powerful development.

Agnieszka is a small woman. She was an orphan, is the mother of an illegitimate child, Catholic, a Socialist Workers hero, a welder and a crane operator in the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk. Life hasn’t been easy on her. Her husband dies shortly after their marriage, her son distances himself from her. She works hard and diligently, and expects the same sense of diligence from others, particularly from party members. Quick-witted and with humor, she is able to forge her way past the fat cats and masters, but eventually they get her and she is fired on a false pretense. Showing their solidarity, her colleagues strike in order to force her reinstatement. Suddenly the whole shipyard is striking, and then all Polish factories. Solidarnosc is born.

The actions of a single worker set the strikes in the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk in motion, which brought about the independent labor union Solidarnosc, which lead to Perestroika and, finally, to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2006
Director Volker Schlöndorff
Screenplay Sylke René Meyer, Andreas Pflueger
Cinematography Andreas Höfer
Wanda Zeman, Peter Przygodda
Jean Michel Jarre
Robert Czesak
Cast Andrzej Chyra, Andrzej Grabowski, Dominique Horwitz, Katharina Thalbach, Wojciech Solarz
Producer Juergen Haase
Production Company Provobis Film/Berlin, in co-production with Mediopolis/Berlin, BR, ARTE, PAISA Films/Warsaw
Runtime 104 min
Format 35 mm, color
Dubbed Versions German
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Dolby SRD
Festivals Toronto 2006 (Masters), Seville 2006, Istanbul 2007 (In Competition), Seattle 2007
Awards Bavarian Film Awards 2006 (Best Actress Katharina Thalbach, Best Cinematography)
With backing from German Federal Film Board / FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, BKM
German Distributor PROGRESS Film-Verleih/Berlin

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