Violated Letters

    Cudze listy

    • Maciej Drygas
    • Poland
    • 2011
    • 56 min
    • World Premiere
    • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
    In the days of socialism in Poland, the secret police used to read the letters citizens were sending each other. Between 1945 and 1989, specialized units opened millions of letters, writing reports that would provide insight into the general feeling among the people. Some of those letters are read out loud in Violated Letters, accompanied by archive footage from the era. The film uses subtle ways to combine both sound and image: together, they give an impression of this piece of Polish history as seen through the eyes of the populace. The subject matter varies strongly, from personal affairs to practical matters. The letters are about work, religion, love, longing, or the political situation. Some of the writers are desperate, others are angry, and some cry for help. The images and letters speak for themselves; life in Poland was tough at the time. While we see images of miners, hardworking farmers and long lines at the food banks, we hear stories about illness, hunger and desperation. As time goes by, the personal experiences of socialist Poland change - a fact that the letter-readers also notice.


    • 56 min
    • color / black and white
    • video
    • Spoken languages: Polish
    • Subtitles in: English
    Maciej Drygas
    Maciej Drygas for Drygas Production
    Maciej Drygas, Rafal Listopad
    Pawel Szymanski
    Screening copy
    Against Gravity

    IDFA history

    World Premiere
    IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

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