A short conversation with Marta Kontny, the actress performing in the film as Jadwiga Wolska
Marta, you are a professional actress and you perform in theaters, series and films. Have you been involved in World War II priod productions before? Is this subject difficult for you?
Yes, I starred in “Pilecki” (dir. by Krzyszkowski) as Maria Szelągowska, and as a partner of Marcin Kwaśny, who was the title character. I also had a bit part in the “Stulecie Winnych” series, in the episode that was taking place during World War II.
It would be hard to say that this is not a difficult subject. I am the kind of a person in whom injustice and human suffering evoke a very strong objection and stimulate action to eliminate such situations.
I think that in this respect, the character of Jadwiga Wolska is truly inspiring. Her strong personality and outstanding resourcefulness were remarkable. I hope that I was able to animate her manner of being and specific aura that accompanied her when I played the role. I am fascinated by strong women, so I am also personally glad that for this project Maria Molenda has chosen the three women and their stories. Thanks to that I was able to learn about such interesting stories of the exceptional people.
I feel that Jadwiga as a character is very dear to my heart, because I find many similarities between her and me. I also think that this is an important story, because it does not repeat the martyrological pattern. And while we can not change the misfortunes and cruelties that affected so many people, Jadwiga to me seems to be a triumphant character, using all of their strenghts to help others.
Did Jadwiga Wolska interest you? Is it a character that will stay with you longer?
Absolutely! Jadwiga Wolska is an unusual figure. Her pro-social behavior, but also her wits and and great ability to win others over, helped a lot of people. It is said that one could either love Jadwiga or dislike her, and for me it is a sign of a strong, tenacious woman, consistent in her decisions. She had a lot of charm and knew how to use it for her (and in this case: common) benefit. I think that her personality raised people’s spirit. In my opinion, she did not respond to problems with sadness and helplessness, but she would treat them as challenges that need solutions.
The “War Triptych” is a short film, made up of several costume scenes, was any one of them a challenge for you?
I think that the scene in which Jadwiga witnesses the arrest and interrogation of a young man by the Nazi soldiers. I am a person who can not be indifferent to situations where people are attacked because of their descent, orientation, skin color, gender, etc. More than once that has put me in potentially dangerous situations, but inside I feel I cannot let myself to be a conformist and simply pretend that nothing is happening.
While shooting this scene I have realized that back then reaction bore much more serious consequences and potential repressions. People who have acted on behalf of others and helped them in different ways are true heroes, and unfortunately many of them have suffered the consequences under that cruel regime.