Monday, June 10, 2019

The Last Witness

Based on true events, The Last Witness by UK-based helmer Piotr Szkopiak delves into a morbid and long covered up crime committed by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. The Katyn Massacre of Spring 1940 involved the execution of 22,000 Polish military and bourgeois civilians in a remote forest. Due to the Soviet Union's World War II alliance with western countries and many subsequent Cold War sensitivities, official blame for the massacre went to the Nazi regime, a claim hard to dispute when Hitler had committed so many crimes of his own.

When British journalist Stephen Underwood (Alex Pettyfer) came across a spate of suicides by Polish soldiers, his editor abruptly and suspiciously advised him to bury the story. But the reporter sensed a much larger story was in play and went on the hunt. Unlucky for him, there were many forces aligned against him; even in post-war England it was dangerous pursuit.

The murder of innocent civilians who might pose a political threat to communist regimes was a salient feature of 20th century history and this film stands out as a testimony to the violence. The Last Witness is a taut thriller with a moral edge and it ought to be watched.

You can watch the trailer here: The Last Witness Trailer