AN ORDINARY COUNTRY
POLISH TITLE: ZWYCZAJNY KRAJ
They were everywhere, though they tried to be invisible. Filming from hiding in restaurants, on the street, in shops. On an estate of detached houses, they registered illegal bottling of regulated fuel. On another occasion, the agents shot footage of an unsuccessful launching of the MIR (‘friendship’ in Russian) ship or Fidel Castro playing basketball with a team from Krakow. They recorded anything from a TV panel where journalists discussed the amount of propaganda in television programs to lovers meeting in the hotel.
Sometimes the officers filmed interviews during which, through blackmail, they carried out the process of breaking a detainee to persuade them to cooperate. Another time, the agents interrogated a woman from whom they required detailed billing of household expenses, including the type of meat and the number of butter cubes used. They wiretapped phone calls with a man in Oslo, during which Poles placed orders for hemorrhoid ointment. They also recorded their own dramatic conversations during a siege of the militia headquarters, when a mob of strike-goers had set the building on fire. The imprisoned staff were begging for help that could not arrive.
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