This film is part of Free

Scottish Mazurka

Discover what set the Poles apart in WWII through this colourful medley of manoeuvres, dance and song set in the Highlands.

War 1943 19 mins


Few WWII films are as filled with action, colour, dance and song as this delightful portrait of Polish soldiers in the Highlands of Scotland. As tanks and grenades tear up the countryside code in the first part of the film it’s clear that this is no scenic holiday. Legendary cinematographers Jack Cardiff and Geoffrey Unsworth use Technicolor to capture dramatic action, landscapes and close-up faces full of character.

Then after the theatre of war, and dramatic studies of soldiers posed on rocks beneath the brooding skies, comes dance theatre with the Anglo-Polish ballet bringing the mazurka to life. Through it all the film eschews a narrative voiceover in favour of snippets of dialogue and patriotic song. All in all it’s a heady and generous mix of pleasures ably brought to the screen by Hans Nieter O’Leary – an American-born director of German-Irish heritage – and Polish producer and director Eugene Cekalski.