Drama - Development 2014

    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • POLAND
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Synopsis
    • Sonia Landau was born in 1914. During the German occupation in 1941 she was displaced together with her family to the Warsaw Ghetto where she endured two tormented years. She eventually escaped the Ghetto and became active in the Resistance movement, later assuming the name Krystyna Zywulska. In 1943 she was arrested and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
      Zywulska wrote Empty Water twenty years after completing her first memoir I Survived Auschwitz. Aware that people still did not understand much of what had taken place in the Ghetto and Resistance, she decided to voice her experience once again, revealing the crime, contempt and shame she encountered. She penned one of the most distinctly balanced accounts of the time—describing good and bad, purity and depravity in Germans, Poles and Jews. She also demonstrated how, under horrible conditions, the definition of good and bad becomes relative.
      Each day, trying to maintain the pretence of normality despite inhuman conditions, Sonia's mother put a pot on the stove, although she had no food to cook. She boiled just plain water and served it to her family, enough to cheat their hunger and repel and deceive the ubiquitous fear. Zywulska's experiences during those two years in the Ghetto can enlighten us all.
      Her account tells of her daring escape from the Ghetto and participation in the Polish Resistance. Empty Water takes place during the horror of Hitler's crematoria but provides layers of nuances that make it difficult to fall into the trap of easy judgments of good and evil.
      Zywulska emerges from her experiences convinced that human life is the greatest treasure of all. This book is testament to her belief.
      This is a story of a Jewish woman who has never felt fear. She is a female equivalent of James Bond. Unusually intelligent and very pretty. One day she exits the Ghetto in a literarily miraculous way. She leaves through the main gate with her head up high accompanied by her terrified mother. On the other side of the Ghetto the sun is shining, birds are singing, people sit in parks, drink soda. She passed from the World of Death to the World of Life. It’s a hot August afternoon in Warsaw, she can’t believe that just a few meters away life goes on as usual.
      Despite the war she sees no madness of death and fear. She begins working in the Polish Resistance. She receives new identity, Sonia changes to Zosia, and later after being arrested by Gestapo to Krystyna. She dyes her hair blond and becomes an attractive blond Slavic – transparent for fascists.
      She forges documents for the Resistance, smuggles weapons and people. There is no such thing as dangerous operation for her. She lands in a concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Her friendship with a German woman, who sees her as a talented poet, saves her life. She knows that Krystyna is priceless. The woman helps her survive, and be moved to the “department of accounting.” Strong and courageous Krystyna meets on her path of life, in this hell of human hatred, another person who helps her … survive.
      Krystyna escapes Auschwitz. After the war, she writes satiric texts, she is a famous Polish writer, author of cabaret texts. She gets together with Thomas, 15 year younger than herself son of fascist movie director. After the war, together they hunt Nazi atrocities of German industrial concerns. Together they fight for historical justice. They are friends, they love each other. She is being rejected in Poland because of her friendship with a German. Krystyna leaves Poland. Until her death at the age of 60 she lives in Germany. All her life she was indomitable in her decisions, brave and uncompromising. I think that we need such heroes today. Producing a film about a Jewish woman who was not afraid of fighting totalitarian system, not a fearful creature, is our duty.
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