By Paige MacGregor
Last month, an announcement was made that work had begun on a feature film about the Warsaw Uprising of 1944--a heroic and tragic 63-day struggle to liberate the Polish capital from Nazi occupation. The film is a collaboration that involves Polish artist and animator Tomek Baginski, best known for his Oscar-nominated short film Cathedral, and the Polish film studio Platige Image, on behalf of the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Hardkor 44 will be the debut film for the Platige Image, and is described as a “sci-fi reimagining of the events of the Warsaw Uprising” that will have "steampunk overtones."
Unfortunately, the news about Polish film Hardkor 44 didn’t garner much attention in the U.S.; but now that promotional images of characters have hit the Internet, Hardkor 44 is catching people’s attention—and with good reason. Hardkor 44 utilizes the film techniques developed by Zack Snyder and Frank Miller in the making of 300 (2006) and Sin City (2005). Like Snyder and Miller’s films, Hardkor 44 will star live-action actors with backgrounds created using computer-generated imagery. Based on the promotional images released for the film to date, it looks like the live actors will be stylized using CGI, similar to the way the actors and actresses were transformed in Robert Zemeckis' 2007 film Beowulf.
All of the press materials currently available for Hardkor 44 are written in Polish, but from what I can gather, the insurgents in the film are courageous, beautiful, well-armed young girls reminiscent of American comic book heroes. The Germans, on the other hand, are perverse cyborg monsters and robots—all of which look extremely cool and terrifying.
Obviously, the Nazi soldiers who fought at Warsaw in 1944 were not cyborgs or robots (although many would agree that they could be described as monsters), and it’s debatable whether a force of beautiful young women resisted the Germans’ attacks for over two months, but Hardkor 44 promises to be entertaining and visually stunning nonetheless.
The official website for Hardkor 44 is live and downloads are available for press kits, however you’ll need to use a translation service to get anything out of the documents and text on the site. Hopefully as the project gains momentum, international attention information will be made available in English (or any other language that you might desire), but until then it’s still cool to visit the site and see some of the images they have posted.