To Kill a Priest

Synopsis: A young priest speaks out against the Communist regime in Poland and is killed for it.
Director(s): Agnieszka Holland
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

My father said it won't last long.

He said we'll take care of them.

Sit down!

TO KILL A PRIES The year 1981, for Poland,

was the year of Solidarity.

A free popular movement was born,

and it carried the hopes of millions of Poles.

The growth of Solidarity was so overwhelming,

people felt that nothing

could ever stand in its path.

WARSAW, December 12th 1981.


They're after Solidarity!

It's the militia!

They're arresting Solidarity!

Looks like they're gonna shoot us.

- Murderers!

- Get back.

- What's going on?

- This is a state of war!

Hands off me!

Bastards! Leave me alone!

Get on. You're under arrest.

You hit me with some of that

and I'll have your ass!

Get them in the truck

and leave the guards here.

- Yes, sir.

- Good job.

Good night, sir.

Ready to go.

Take me home.

- Stefan?

- Yes.

I'm freezing.

What is this?

What are you doing awake?

Don't want to miss too many cartoons.

Do you know what this is for?

Mom's afraid.

Of what?

- That they'll come.

- Who?

The Solidarity people.

No one's going to come.

And, you can sleep late in the morning,

because there won't be any cartoons on TV.


They'll have something

more important to talk about.

That's it, come on, right,

good, good, keep coming!

That's it! Give me more of that swing!

And remember your right.


Josef! Show him

how to keep up his guard.

Good... Come on, come on...

What are you doing?

What's this, what's this?

Watch your right,

keep up your guard!

That's it?

I'm really sorry, father.

I didn't even recognize you.

That's ok.

We met during the strike?

Are you Anna's husband?

She didn't want to get married in church.

- She's been arrested.

- When?

The first night.

She drove right into a militia raid.

With a bunch of Christmas trees.

Well, what are you doing here?

I wanted to see what it was like

to be punched in the face.

Well, now you know.

Let's go!

Feliks, please, let's go.

I caught you.

Stop talking about your boyfriends,

we've got a job to do.

St. Martin's church.

You live nearby.

- Do they know you over there?

- No.

They're collecting

medical supplies and clothes

for the people

who've been ... arrested.

Maybe you should bring a sweater

or an old jacket, something to give away.

- Can I have a car?

- Why?

You want to impress

your mother-in-law again?

Vizitki church.

- A lot of young students there.

- How do you know?

Well, I checked it out, I thought

you might give me this one.

Did you go there with your

Solidarity friends?

That you could get involved

with these people...

Well, there are a lot of pretty boys in Solidarity.

St. Sebastian's church.

This one ... I take care of myself.

That's the one with the young priest.

Father Alek.

Hey, Feliks, he's a good-looking man...

That's it.

On the night of December 12th,

the government imposed the state of war.

They arrested thousands of people.

Some died. Others are in hiding,

hunted like common criminals.

A government by brute force

is not a government.

It is tyranny, a deception,

and a blasphemy.

They have forced silence upon us.

But that silence is going to speak

for our brothers and sisters in prison.

That silence is going to speak

for our sense of decency.

That silence is going to speak

for our freedom of speech.

Let us pray.

- Holy mother of the imprisoned.

- Pray for us!

- Holy mother of the deceived.

- Pray for us!

- Holy mother of the betrayed.

- Pray for us!

- Holy mother of the captured at night.

- Pray for us!

Holy mother of the miners who were shot.

Pray for us!

Mother of suffering Poland.

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Agnieszka Holland

Agnieszka Holland (born 28 November 1948) is a Polish film and television director and screenwriter. Best known for her political contributions to Polish cinema, Holland is one of Poland's most eminent filmmakers. She began her career as assistant to directors Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, and emigrated to France shortly before the 1981 imposition of the martial law in Poland. Holland is best known for her films Europa Europa (1991) and her 2011 drama In Darkness, which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards. In 2017 she received Alfred Bauer Prize (Silver Bear) for her film Spoor at the Berlin International Film Festival. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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