One of the most infamous and most shocking crimes of the 1990s Poland. A brutal murder disguised as a robbery. Perpetrators: three high school seniors. Sentence: life in prison.
The trial is a media circus in which the brother-in-law of the victim plays a significant role. He engages psychics, makes TV appearances. The public opinion is agitated by the fact that one of the offenders is a girl – Monika Osińska. All media attention is focused on her. Monika is described as a coldly calculating manipulator and initiator of the entire attack. Wojciech Tochman’s book on which this adaptation is based puts a question mark: is Monika indeed the perpetrator of a murder to the extent that the court has ruled? Monika is guilty, but is she as guilty as the media portrayed her? Did her gender and beauty affect the trial and the sentencing? Did she really deserve the punishment of life in prison? Can she ever atone for her crime?
Since the antiquity the role of theatre has been to reflect on justice, exploring paradoxes of law, the issues of guilt and punishment. In October in Poland, the most severe prison sentences will be further increased. Thus, the condemned are practically deprived of the opportunity to return to society.
Together with the STUDIO team, director and artistic director Natalia Korczakowska will create a play, based on Wojciech Tochman’s documentary story, which challenges our stereotypical thinking about the most hated figures and people excluded from society. The story of Monika Osińska, sentenced to life in prison in the 1990s, is a study of how emotions affect institutions as serious as the court.
The publisher’s note about the adapted book:
A crime that cannot be forgiven, and its victim. A family drama from which it is impossible to recover. A condemned woman and her boundless hurt. In this reportage where true crime meets psychological drama Wojciech Tochman writes about a girl who paid for her youth, gender and beauty with all that she had and all that she could have had. The author also pays tribute to extraordinary reporter Lidia Ostałowska. She was the first to document this long tale. The book is their joint story – about violence, fear, revenge, longing and injustice. It begins in mid-90s, it continues for a quarter of a decade in the Poland under transformation, until today—and it is not over.
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