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August 7, 2010 2:39 PM   Subscribe

The history of Poland, in eight minutes, in CGI, from the country's exhibition at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The film is full of blink-and-you'll-miss-it references - check the date at the bottom-left of the screen and see how many you can find!

There don't seem to be less than twenty actual historical events here - some well-known, like the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact of 1939 - and others less so, like the three seconds shown of the 303rd Polish Flying Squadron during the Battle of Britain in 1940, or Europe's first codified constitution in 1791.
posted by mdonley (24 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
That was awesome. Beautiful style. I only wish it were better quality.
posted by toekneebullard at 2:59 PM on August 7, 2010

Are you sure this isn't an advert for Civ 5, because it could be. Very cool.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:23 PM on August 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

I was thinking more that Ensemble Studios was planning a new expansion for AOE3: The Poles.

Nice video, but it makes me wonder how long it will be before there is another war.
posted by Lukenlogs at 3:28 PM on August 7, 2010

Beautiful video.

But it went by so fast
I never really saw how many guys it took to screw in a lightbulb....
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 3:29 PM on August 7, 2010 [4 favorites]

Post-posting post: the artist, Tomasz Bagiński, has made a number of short animated films which were widely acclaimed, including Fallen Art, winner of a BAFTA in 2006, and The Cathedral, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2002.
posted by mdonley at 3:30 PM on August 7, 2010

That was gorgeous.

I wish I knew more about Poland than Copernicus, WWII and the Solidarity movement.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 3:52 PM on August 7, 2010

I only got Chopin and the separation from Lithuania. Who's the guy in the beginning supposed to be?

Here's hoping for a version in HD or at least passable audio!
posted by CaptApollo at 4:01 PM on August 7, 2010

The guy in the beginning (966-1000) is Mieszko I, first king of Poland - and star of the 10-złoty note.
posted by mdonley at 4:08 PM on August 7, 2010

The Round Table Negotiations in 1989 as depicted in the video (7:40-7:42) looked very familiar, and I realized that I'd seen this photo, with the same carpet. Weird what sticks in your mind.
posted by mdonley at 4:25 PM on August 7, 2010

But no "You forgot Poland."
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 4:26 PM on August 7, 2010

Yeah, I only got Copernicus and Chopin. But I looked up Polish artists and found this guy. I think he may be the artist that appears sometime between 1922 and WWII.
posted by marsha56 at 5:15 PM on August 7, 2010

Pretty neat, but it would be a hell of a lot more useful with accompanying text; as it is, unless you're steeped in the details of Polish history it's just a blur of battles and mysterious robed people. I missed most of it even trying to follow along with Wikipedia (though I did learn about Władysław the Elbow-high). I notice they didn't have room for the early-seventeenth-century invasion of Russia and attempt to put a Pole on the Russian throne, but I guess in eight minutes you can only do so much.
posted by languagehat at 5:34 PM on August 7, 2010

Ah, marsha56, you're right! It must be Witkacy - he's Poland's most well-known painter from the 20th century. I don't know who the painter of the portrait in the late 1600s-1700s is, though - the subject is obviously noble, not just from the size of his house but also from his Sarmatian outfit, which was the style to be rocking if you were in the szlachta, Poland's nobility. The subject actually resembles Jan III Sobieski in this portrait, but it's a different outfit.

Also, those guys with the wings helping defend Vienna from the Ottomans in 1683 are winged hussars - I never knew what they were called before!

On preview: languagehat, check out 3:30-3:40 - looks like the war you're looking for!
posted by mdonley at 5:47 PM on August 7, 2010

It's funny how the Teunotic Knights always look like Imperial Stormtroopers.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:49 PM on August 7, 2010

Wow, that got me misted up. I walked past the tower at 1:51 almost daily, and the building beside it is a McDonalds now.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:02 PM on August 7, 2010

why didn't they upload it in HD? 360 is the highest I can see it at. Indeed a very cool animation.
posted by Phantomx at 6:32 PM on August 7, 2010

Related: polandball.
posted by wayland at 6:54 PM on August 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

I remember reading in an almanac that Poland's population is slavic and teutonic. I understand that when the knights of one of four Polish kingdoms were decimated by the Mongols the prince of that kingdom invited German knights in as replacements and these knights were polonized. I suspect that there has been a lot of cross migrations between the German principalities and Poland from over a thousand years ago. I also remember reading that Prussian troops (not the Balts, but Germans) were incorporated in Polish military campaigns in the east against Russia. I have not encountered a terribly great amount of material that discusses the many centuries old relationship between Germans and Poles - something undoubtedly distorted by the events of World War II.
The Poles occupied Moscow in about 1610. A Polish garrison was stationed there until 1612. There was even consideration of combining the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with Russia under one crown. I don't remember seeing anything about this in the video (an observation also made by languagehat).
The winged hussars were militarily impressive against the Russians. Often outnumbered, the winged hussars still managed to win battles.
posted by millardsarpy at 8:33 PM on August 7, 2010

Um, that appears to be Hungaryball.
posted by mdonley at 1:43 AM on August 8, 2010

Definitely Hungary Ball.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:05 AM on August 8, 2010

All the while I was thinking wow, look how the advance of CGI and the influence of game visual culture has seeped into the mainstream. You can't see anything cooler than that. Better than standing in line for 2 to 4 hours
posted by infini at 3:13 AM on August 8, 2010

Should have finished with a bang. I mean, the Katyn plane crash bang.
posted by Baldons at 4:45 AM on August 8, 2010

I don't mean to be breaking any rules (I don't think I am), but since this video was taken down, did anyone save a copy?
posted by thebenman at 9:56 PM on August 10, 2010

Ah, didn't realize it had been taken down. Here's a film of some shots from the film.
posted by mdonley at 5:29 PM on August 12, 2010

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