Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

“Irena’s Oath”: Andrzej Seweryn and Eliza Rycembel in a film about the life of Irena Gut-Opdyke

“Irena’s Oath” is a true, moving story about maintaining humanity in the inhuman times of World War II. The story is based on the facts of the life of Irena Gut-Opdyke, who risked her life to save Jews hiding after the liquidation of the ghetto.

The main roles will be played by world cinema stars: Sophie Nelisse (“Yellowjackets”, “The Book Thief”) and Dougray Scott (“Mission: Impossible 2”, “The Vatican Tapes”). The cast of the Polish-Canadian co-production also included: Andrzej Seweryn, Eliza Rycembel, Tomasz Tyndyk, Eryk Kulm JrMaciej Nawrocki, Aleksander Milicevic.

The film was directed by the award-winning Louise Archambault. The script is written by Dan Gordon, who is also the author of the play about Irena Gut-Opdyke, which won the hearts of the New York off-Broadway audience in 2008. The world premiere of the film took place at the 48th Toronto International Film Festival.

The film will debut simultaneously on Polish and American cinemas on April 19, exactly on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

World War II is ongoing. 19-year-old Irena (Sophie Nelisse) loses contact with her family in the turmoil of war. Beaten and tortured, she is forcibly conscripted to work, first for the Red Army, and then sent to forced labor in a German ammunition factory. Her situation changes when Rugemer, an SS major (Dougray Scott), pays attention to her. The man, fascinated by the girl, offers her a job as a housekeeper in his estate. When Irena learns that the Germans intend to liquidate the ghetto, she takes advantage of her employer’s trust and saves Jews by hiding them in his house. However, the conspiracy does not last long. Rugemer discovers Irena’s secret and gives her an ultimatum that is difficult to accept.