wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 04/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Andrzej Wajda is mostly known for his war trilogy (A Generation, Kanal, Ashes and Diamonds) shot in the 50's and his movies of the 70's and 80's than for the films he directed in the sixties. So I decided to buy the VHS version of LOTNA available here at Amazon to discover an example of what the great Polish director did during that decade. The quality of the copy presented by Polart is very bad and the colours washed-out.
LOTNA is the name of a gorgeous white horse given by the lord of a manor situated next to the Polish-German border to the cavalry captain Chodakiewicz who's been ordered to fight the first German foot troops which crossed the border in 1939. As the winchester in Anthony Mann's WINCHESTER '73, Lotna will be owned by several lancers who'll die while riding her and one understands soon that Lotna is a symbol for Poland.
A certain number of scenes are worthy to be remembered such as the battles between the German tanks and the Polish lancers or the visit of the castle of the first owner of Lotna. And I can't but urge you to see this film if you are a fan of Andrzej Wajda.
LOTNA vintage story
Frank J. Gubala | 05/31/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Romance, adventure, history, and a sharing of Polands bravery comes to life in this film. Lotna, the star horse, gives a small view of the importance of the Polish Cavalry, and a special horse that fights the noise, shell fire, etc. while carrying his master. You will be angered at the cheated love between a young soldier and his new bride, as war is the terminator and the spectre of death follows even the bravest of men and women. I found the film provocative in the sense that it adds another dimension of how Polish life was affected during WWII. A film with few words, but moving scenes, some pastoral and some war maddened. Lotna will appeal to those who love horses, and will perhaps chuckle as to how this horse is part of the Polish Estate."
A quixotic image of the struggle of a Polish cavalry squadro
Richard J. Brzostek | New England, USA | 12/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Lotna" is Andrzej Wajda's 1959 film about a cavalry squadron facing the crushing blitzkrieg campaign the Germans unleashed on Poland in 1939. The men in the film make a valiant effort to defend their country, creating a quixotic image of their struggle. As the day progresses into night, you can practically feel the impending doom they face.
The movie draws you in with its presentation. The storyline and music are compelling and artistic. There is symbolism and deeper meaning throughout the film. From Lotna, the white horse, which may symbolize defiance and death to the bride who catches her veil on a coffin on her way out of church, that shows death is nearby, the film is teeming with symbolism.
An example of the courage and futility facing the squadron is when they charge several German tanks with sabers swinging and lances in hand. One of the cavalrymen strikes his saber against the nozzle of the tank, which does little damage. The Germans actually produced propaganda during World War II that had staged footage of a Polish cavalry charging German tanks, beginning the myth that this was the method Poles used to fight the Germans. "Lotna" helped cement this myth into legend with the scene described above. In reality, the Polish cavalry's arsenal of weapons included anti-tank rifles that could pierce armor.
As you may expect from Wajda, "Lotna" offers more than a typical film. It paints a picture of the lives of a few soldiers in the Polish cavalry as they make the most of a difficult situation. If you enjoy old war movies or enjoyed Wajda's other films, "Lotna" is one not to miss.