The Road to Gdansk, a primer on Polish history and the first flowering of Solidarity.

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This hard-nosed, old-school, just-the facts documentary was released in 1983, only a short time after the events being recorded. I can’t find much about it, except here.

This is my kind of history lesson, and what makes the film unique is testimony from both “sides,” the workers/reformers and the Communist apparatchiks. It’s as if everyone involved knows that martial law isn’t the last word, and the cards are being dealt. As it turned out, Gorbachev was wild.

To take you forward through the final act in 1989, when Communism crumbled in Poland, this brief report from BBC Two’s Curriculum Bites suffices fairly well.

Previously: Damn it, I want to go to Gdansk and visit the European Solidarity Centre.

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