Film charting the life of Polish hero Lech Walesa to be screened in Welwyn Garden City

12:28 04 February 2014

Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa

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A new film about a hero who helped free Poland from the oppressive yoke of Soviet Communism will be shown in Welwyn Garden City.

Poland's Gdansk Shipyards, formerly known as the Lenin Shipyards, where Lech Walesa began his Solidarnosc (Soilidarity) movementPoland's Gdansk Shipyards, formerly known as the Lenin Shipyards, where Lech Walesa began his Solidarnosc (Soilidarity) movement

The feature, Walesa: Man of Hope, charts the life and achievements of Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish President Lech Walesa, and will be screened at the Garden City Cinema, in Campus West, next month.

Michal Siewniak, a founding member of the Welwyn Hatfield Polish Forum, welcomed the screening.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “Only a month ago, the whole global community paid its respect to Nelson Mandela, who was one of the most influential and inspirational leaders of all times.

“Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity movement, Polish president, is also one of the heroes of the 20th century.”

Michal Siewniak, Peter Hill, Irena Falcone and Tomek KlareckiMichal Siewniak, Peter Hill, Irena Falcone and Tomek Klarecki

Mr Siewniak added: “The film will be a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the life of this famous union activist and a person who helped to break down communism and who had such a huge influence on the history of modern Europe.”

Walesa was co-founder of the Solidarnosc (Solidarity) trade union at the Gdansk (then Lenin) Shipyards on Poland’s Baltic coast in 1980.

Solidarnosc was the first non-Communist Party-controlled union in a Warsaw Pact country and paved the way for resistence to the Soviet satellite regime.

Walesa was fired from his job and imprisoned as a result of his dissident activities.

SolidarnoscSolidarnosc

But, in echoes of Nelson Mandela, the charismatic campaigner went on to lead his country and served as President from 1990 to 1995, overseeing Poland’s emergence from Communism.

He continues to lecture on politics at home and abroad and visited Hatfield’s University of Hertfordshire-owned Fielder Centre in 2011.

The film will be shown tomorrow (Wednesday, February 5) at 8.45pm and tickets are now on sale.

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