Last Friday, on the eve of the 39th anniversary of the August Agreements, the pre-premiere screening of the documentary “Shipyard workers. People from the background” took place on the post-shipyard area in Gdansk. The movie about former employees of the Gdansk Shipyard, directed by Marek Osiecimski (REFUGIUM Productions), documents the silent heroes of important historical events, that happened here.
We got to know very touching stories of people who participated in the strikes of December ’70 and August ’80, including the words of Mr. Stanisław, who never told anyone about the fact, that he was the head of one of the department unions at the Gdansk Shipyard.
Or Mrs. Barbara, who showed us around the former factory. With a big smile on her face, she explained the workings of manual extinguishers and self-made insulators. With a tear in her eye, she said, that what once was here will not come back but she would like to see it come to life again and a strong community to return to this place.
Mrs. Halina opened her substantial collection of photographs and a list of colleagues along with their shipyard numbers.
After the screening, the audience had the opportunity to ask our heroes questions. A very important question was asked about why Solidarność had the chance to form and succeed in the Gdansk Shipyard. One of the former shipyard workers in the audience stated that interpersonal ties were very strong in those days. Mutual trust grew as people had to cooperate in difficult circumstances, under the pressure of a continuous production process. Moreover, entire families were often involved in the life of the Shipyard. Many Gdansk residents worked in the Shipyard and shared common problems, fears and hopes. This accumulated interest turned out to be a very powerful tool.
Our heroes risked a lot standing shoulder to shoulder with people who later became globally recognized symbols of their joint struggle. Unfortunately, the world did not always fully appreciate these people from the background. This documentary makes an important contribution to keeping these memories alive and remember our unsung heroes.
The documentary is co-financed by the Municipality of Gdansk, the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Shipyard City Gdańsk Sp. z o.o., PPU NAVA Sp. z o.o. and Stocznia Cesarska Development Sp. z o.o.