Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Husband-and-wife Polish filmmakers Ewa Petelska and Czeslaw Petelski co-helmed this gritty but long-forgotten war epic, which recreates as a docudrama the March 1945 Battle of Kolberg in World War II. The drama at hand witnesses Polish soldiers struggling to gain control over the Kolobrzeg Fortress; Petelska and Petelski filter the material through the perspectives of several military characters, including Officer Victor, a soldier from Lenino who struggles endlessly to understand the wounded nurse Wanda; Victor's deputy Warrant Krecki, who longs to return to his family as soon as possible; Corporal Podarzyn, who wants to obtain his own piece of land; and many others. Meanwhile, on a broader level, the filmmakers keep a steady eye on the heavy fighting that rolls on relentlessly. The "rowan" of the title was actually a Polish radio code name.