The award-winning film about the most spectacular escape from Auschwitz is now available for purchase on DVD. Uciekinier [The Escapee] tells the extraordinary life story of Kazimierz Piechowski, former Auschwitz prisoner no. 918, who organized one of the most amazing escapes from the camp.
Piechowski was transported to Auschwitz in 1940 at the age of 21, in the second transport of Polish political prisoners. On June 20, 1942, he and three friends made an astonishing getaway: dressed in SS uniforms and armed, they drove off in the deputy commandant’s car. The Germans never recaptured any of them.
After escaping, Piechowski joined the Home Army resistance movement; in communist Poland, he received a ten-year prison sentence for this. He graduated from the polytechnic and worked as an engineer. After retirement, he began traveling the world and visited more than 60 countries.
His story fascinated the director Marek Tomasz Pawłowski, who decided to make the film. He had vital assistance from Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum historian Adam Cyra.
Since its March 2007 premiere at the Kino Muranów in Warsaw, the film has been shown at dozens of festivals and has won 13 prizes and honorable mentions, including the Bronze Medal at the New York Festivals (the first medal for a Polish documentary in 54 years), and the best director’s prize at the Zolotoy Vityaz Festival in Moscow. It was the first Polish documentary shown at the prestigious Mostra de Cinema in Sao Paolo, where the features Katyń and Rysy were also shown.
The exclusive distributor for the Polish-English DVD version is the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, where it is available on the website . Spanish, French, German, and Italian versions are in preparation.
Directed and written by Marek Tomasz Pawłowski
Cinematographer: Jacek Januszyk
Music: Michał Lorenc
Production: Zoyda Art Production, Telewizja Polska, Polski Instytut Filmowy, Poland, 2007
56 minutes, Polish soundtrack, English subtitles