Film Society to open spring slate

Nathan Carter

Lotna, directed by Andrej Wajda, will be the 432nd film shown by the Missouri Southern Film Society.

The film will be screened Feb. 26 in Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall.

Harrison Cash started the society in 1962 with Don Smith, ex-curator of the Spiva Art Center, and the late Alma Doan.

Southern’s Film Society has greatly benefited from the use of DVDs, as it has allowed films to be less “dodgy,” and more effective. DVD has also allowed the club to show films in a way that can reach a larger audience.

Cash is the only original member still running the club. Under his direction, the focus has become discovering lesser-known films.

The Warsaw trilogy – A Generation, Kanal, and Ashes and Diamonds – were “blockbusters that made tremendous impressions on the world,” Cash said. “Lotna was overshadowed.”

Lotna was important in its time because it departed from Wajda’s urban war films.

Lotna, overall, is about the elimination of cavalry from warfare. Lotna is Wajda’s first tribute to his father, a cavalryman executed by the Soviets during the Katyn massacre. His latest film, Katyn, is an account of those events, and has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Lotna has also had a lasting effect on the Polish language. A scene in the film depicts the Polish cavalry charging German tanks. The cavalry is obliterated, but the scene gave birth to the phrase, “with swords against tanks.”

Other films to be shown later this semester are Slave to Love, Somewhere in Europe, and The Fifth Horseman is Fear.

All four films will be shown at 7 p.m. in Cornell Auditorium in Plaster Hall. For more information, please contact Cash at 673-1261.