( dpa )- Veteran Polish director Andrzej Wajda will be flying the flag for Central and Eastern Europe at the Berlin film festival which opens next week.
The Oscar-winning Polish director will be showing Katyn , a film he never believed he would make, about one of the darkest moments in Polish history.
The movie, which will have its international premiere in Berlin, delves into the massacre of thousands of Polish army officers and intellectuals by the Soviet secret service in 1940.
A major figure of world and Central European cinema, Wajda has made his reputation as a sensitive and uncompromising chronicler of his country's political and social evolution.
The director, who turns 82 in March, has made more than 40 films in a career spanning more than five decades, some of them crafted from tragic episodes in Polish history.
Among them were portraits of wartime uprising in Warsaw and the suppression of the Solidarity labour movement in the 1970s - topics which annoyed Poland's then communist leadership.
Man of Iron, which saw Solidarity leader Lech Walesa appear as himself, won him the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the Cannes festival and an Oscar nomination for the best foreign language film.
In 2000, he received an honorary Academy Award in recognition of his services to the cinema.
Katyn has also been nominated for an Oscar as best foreign language film at this year's Academy Awards.
Wajda , whose films have been selected on three previous occasions for the Berlinale , was awarded an honorary Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement in 2006.
Katyn is running out of competition in this year's Berlinale . Since its release in Poland in September 2007, it has been seen by more than 3 million people.
In a series of interviews he gave after its launch, Wajda spoke of the challenge in making what he called his most personal movie ever.
In part this was because his father was one of the executed officers whose bodies were discovered by German troops in 1943 in the forest of Katyn , near the city of Smolensk in western Russia.
The Soviets denied responsibility for the slaughter and pinned the blame on the Germans. Poland's post-war communist leadership accepted this version.
The cover-up was exposed in 1990, a year after the collapse of communism, when the Soviet Union released documents acknowledging the massacre. Wajda said he would never have been able to make the film while the communists were in power.
Katyn deals with the crimes committed in the forest and the devastation of the victims' families as well as what the director calls "the Katyn lie."
Starring Maja Ostaszewska , Artur Zmijewski and Andrzej Chyra , the film is based on the book Post mortem - the Katyn story, by Andrzej Mularczyk .
The movie tells the story of the mothers, wives and daughters of the executed officers who attempt to find out the truth about the fate of the victims.
Wajda said that although the massacre was a crime, he didn't believe it should be followed by consequences in the form of criminal charges for the people involved.