Seomra Spraoi

Dublin's Autonomous Social Centre

‘Hear My Cry’ — Auntie Underground

Seomra Spraoi / Friday 1st October / 7pm–9pm

The story of Ryszard Siwiec, a clerk from Przemyśl. In September, 1968, during a harvest festival at the 10th Anniversary Stadium in Warsaw, in front of thousands of people he poured benzene over himself and lit it in protest against the communist totalitarianism and the entrance of Warsaw Pact forces into Czechoslovakia. Severely burned, Siwiec was transferred to the hospital where he died. His sacrifice passed unnoticed. His name did not appear on the front pages of neither Polish, nor western papers. After many years, the creator of the film, on the basis of the preserved documents, confessions of relatives and eyewitnesses of the event tries to find out who Ryszard Siwiec was and the cause of his readiness to do such a terrible thing. The film ends in a shocking seven-seconds-long archive fragment that shows the “human torch”.

Out of a very scarce material Maciej Drygas made a terrific, shocking film. A film that is not only a tribute to a rebellious man, but also a complement to the meaning of his sacrifice. It is only now that this imploring appeal ‘hear my cry’ can be answered.

Paweł Mossakowski, “Gazeta Wyborcza”