For more than five years I’ve been waiting for a movie about the Second Siege of Vienna. After several false alarms, one has finally been made — in Polish.
If I were scripting the English version, the opening voice-over would go something like this:
The year is 1683.
The place is Vienna. It’s the capital of the Austrian Empire.
All summer the city has been besieged by the army of the Ottoman Sultan under the command of Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa.
The city is exhausted and hungry. The Turks have all but destroyed the Löbel Bastion, the most vulnerable point on the ramparts. If they succeed in breaking through the city’s defenses, the whole of Central Europe will lie open to the predations of the Ottoman army. Fire, slaughter, rape, pillage, and forced conversion to Islam will become the everyday experience of ordinary European Christians.
Then, at the last moment, a great hero arrives, passing through the Wienerwald and descending from the heights of the Kahlenberg to take the Turks by surprise and break the siege.
The date is September 11, 1683.
The hero’s name is Jan III Sobieski, the King of Poland…
Translation of the text :
A city which cries for help
An army which does not know mercy
A king who will save Europe
A Polish victory, which will change the fortunes of the world
The Battle of Vienna
At cinemas from October 12
An English-language version is listed in IMDb. It will have the title September 11 1683, but there doesn’t seem to be a trailer yet, nor have any screenings been announced.
So if you happen to understand Polish and are in Warsaw next week, check it out. Most of us already know the plot, and for those who don’t: it has a happy ending.