Poland's first post-war feature from 1947, Forbidden Songs is a musical that portray life during the German occupation and underlines the significance of patriotic Polish songs
In the film, Roman Tokarski, a musician tells a young Polish soldier repatriate from England about his experiences during the war. From the start of the German occupation, he organised a street orchestra, and together with his sister Halina and other friends, he was a member of underground organisations, running weapons and illegal literature. He also participated in sabotage actions and gunfights, and took part fought in the Warsaw Uprising. The main protagonist of the the film however, are the patriotic songs that helped Poles survive the occupation.
Directed by Leonard Buczkowski who had established himself as a director of pre-war big-budget war films, the film bears witness to the country's quick reentry into the film industry not long after the end of the war. Lacking approval of the communist authorities and ﬁlm critics for its "lack of political involvement, its stereotyping, and the false picture it projected of the occupation" (from Marek Haltof's 2011 book Polish Film and the Holocaust: Politics and Memory), the film was soon removed from cinemas to get some changes introduced in its plot. The changes, ordered by the authorities, were to stress better the cruelty of the Nazis and the input of the Soviets in winning the war. In 1948 the film was remade and re-leased in 1948 and hit cinemas a second time.
- Zakazane piosenki / Forbidden Songs, 1947, Poland. Directed by: Leonard Buczkowski, screenwriting by Ludwik Starski, Jan Fethke, cinematography by: Adolf Forbert, music by: Roman Palester. Cast: Danuta Szaflarska, Janina Ordezanka, Jerzy Duszynski, Jan Swiderski, Jan Kurnakowicz. 97 min, Black and White
Editor: Marta Jazowska