One Day in People’s Poland

Jeden dzień w PRL

  • Maciej Drygas
  • Poland, France
  • 2005
  • 59 min
  • Focus: Re-releasing History

September 27, 1962 was an ordinary day in the Polish People's Republic. We would know very little about what exactly happened in the lives of the country’s 30 million inhabitants on that day, were it not for the meticulous reports produced by police officers, security officials and their informants. Every incident that suggested the slightest hint of resistance was investigated, and thick dossiers were compiled on the lives of many ordinary people who were suspected of being dissidents. With dates and times accurately recorded, the details of their lives were stored in the Polish archives.

Filmmaker Maciej Drygas dug out these files and combined them with inspection reports, news stories, diary entries and letters intercepted by the security services. With these fragments read aloud, he constructs a soundtrack that gives a chronological account of that single day: a random series of events that together bear witness to an obsession with control in a paranoid state. A montage of archive footage showing life as the Party would have liked it to be—orderly and industrious—is powerfully stripped of its shine.


  • 59 min
  • black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Polish
  • Subtitles in: English
Maciej Drygas
Jacques Debs for ADR Productions, Maciej Drygas for Drygas Production, Krzysztof Talczewski for Telewizja Polska S.A.
Katarzyna Maciejko-Kowalczyk
Iwo Klimek
Pawel Szymanski

IDFA history

Focus: Re-releasing History
World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

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