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Kosciuszko is a name known to us as Australia’s highest peak. The mountain was named by the Polish explorer Paweł (Paul) Edmund Strzelecki in 1840, in honour of Polish-Lithuanian and American freedom fighter General Tadeusz Kosciuszko.

So who was this Tadeusz Kosciuszko? You can find out more about him in SCARBORN, directed. Paweł Maślona, an epic historical drama incorporated in the Polish Film Festival.

SCARBORN or KOS, is set in Poland, March 1794. The ruling not so noble elite prostituted its privileges for so long that it caused the country to collapse. Aggressive neighbours, primarily Russia, had already plundered half of the territory. The Russian empress, Catherine II the Great, was preparing for the final blow–the total partition of Poland. General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, wanted by the Russian occupation forces, breaks through to Krakow to lead a last-chance anti-Russian uprising.

The Russian empress called Kosciuszko a “beast,” not because of his fierceness but because of the libertarian views she hated, which he turned into action. He went to fight in the American Independence Revolution where he was decorated as a general by the first US President, George Washington.

In this context, it is unsurprising that an actual historical figure inspires the black Jean”Domingo” Lapierre in this film. A former slave from the then-French colony of Santo Domingo, he accompanied Kosciuszko during the uprising as a brother in arms.

Though SCARBORN is a tense action-adventure film with epic historical themes, it resonates with Russia’s current history and its invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, Russian imperialism has been saying the same thing for hundreds of years and in the same way.

Jacek Braciak cuts a fine figure as Kos, a cuddly commando and crusader for human rights. The chemistry between him and Jason Mitchel as Domingo is the stuff of classic bro- ro brio.

Agnieszka Grochowska is superb as the steely widow, Maria, in whose house Kos and Domingo seek refuge and proves no damsel in distress when they are under siege by Russian soldiers and their sadistic leader.

KOS screens as part of the Polish Film Festival .

Tickets are now on sale and full program is available at

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