SUMMER SOLSTICE

By Michał ROGALSKI

PRASA&FILM - as PROD

Drama - Development 2012

Poland, June 1943. The night of the summer solstice will put together four young people: Bunia, a Jewish girl, a German soldier – Guido, and a Polish girl and boy – Franka and Romek. During the war they will experience love, which can be an escape, but also a big danger. Will it be possible for them

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • POLAND
    • Languages
    • POLISH, GERMAN
    • Budget
    • 1 - 3 M$
    • Director(s)
    • Michał ROGALSKI
    • Writer(s)
    • Michał ROGALSKI
    • Producer(s)
    • Renata CZARNKOWSKA (PRASA&FILM), Kamila POLIT (PRASA&FILM)
    • Synopsis
    • How did it happen, that a simple Polish village boy, a German gendarme and a young Jewish girl from Warsaw crossed paths? What could possibly put them together? Love, friendship, coincidence? This could easily happen today, but then – it was war that put together the characters of this story. War and a unique time of summer solstice.
      It is 1943. Polish province. After the lost battle of Stalingrad, the German army enlists younger and younger boys. Guido, a sensitive teenager from Hamburg, is one of them. In this world he feels like an alien and tries to create an asylum against the brutality of war and his older colleagues, gendarmes. He hides in the attic of a house, and listens to jazz music, which allows him to dream away. At the same time Romek, a Polish boy, who lost his father during the war, works at the railroad in order to help his mother. As an assistant driver he sees goods left everyday on the side track by Jews sent to death camps. He does not really understand the essence of this tragedy, he is rather indifferent and more interested in girls, especially in Franka, the daughter of a wealthy farmer. Guido also likes Franka.
      Guido and Romek are not heroes; like many other boys they try to survive in these difficult times, they want to enjoy their youth. During the accidental meeting of Midsummer Eve, none of them senses that their apparently stable world shall turn into ruins pretty soon.
      Romek meets a Jewish girl Bunia, who escapes from the train transporting her to the death camp. He tries to get rid of her fearing the consequences, but Bunia does not want to go. They head towards the river, where only yesterday the solstice celebrations took place. Romek and Bunia meet Guido. The young German is hiding there, escaping from the bloody orders of his new commander. Romek grabs Guido’s gun, but he does not shoot him, despite Bunia urging him to do so. Bunia and Romek become mates. Romek hides Bunia in a forestman’s abandoned cottage. Soviet guerrilla spots the cottage and Bunia is raped. Romek is not able to save her. The Soviets take Bunia with them. Romek is experiencing tragedy. Lost and despaired Guido approaches Franka. They make love in the attic. The German commandant discovers the hiding-place and he beats Guido up. Guido is sent to the Eastern War Front.
      In the final scene, the steam engine operated by Romek and the car carrying Guido ride side by side. Romek turns the lever and the locomotive makes a steam whistle. Guido raises his eyes.
      For a brief moment the boys’ eyes meet but the road veers away from a train tracks.
    • Partners & financing
    • Project developed in co-production with STRANGE LOVE PICTURES (Germany).
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jun 01, 2012
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