The City of Lions


Janek, a biology student at the University of Lwów, Poland has one goal: He wants to become as famous as his charismatic, internationally renowned mentor Rudolf Weigl, the Polish discoverer of the first effective vaccine against typhus and candidate for the Nobel Prize.

While Janek prepares for his exams, Nazi troops bomb Poland. Three weeks later Soviet troops occupy his hometown. In order to escape his patriotic mother, who expects him to fight the enemy, Janek volunteers at the Weigl Institute as “human lice food” in order to work on his career “in peace”.

Just to impress Weigl, Janek volunteers to smuggle a illegal load of vaccine into the Ghetto of German occupied Warsaw. But the confrontation with the local misery shocks him to the extent that he refuses to participants in anymore activities of resistance.

The deportation of his Jewish girlfriend Nina to the Lwów ghetto is another stroke to Janek. When he rebounds and thinks he has everything under control with more work, he finds himself suddenly finds himself in a position where only courage will save him and open his heart. But for that he must sacrifice what was most dear to him.

He finally realizes what his role model had tried to teach him all along: Given a change in circumstances, life often can’t continue as planned but requires change. And happiness is relative to what you make out of what is given to you.

THE CITY OF LIONS is about a young man with great ambitions and dreams who has to overcome obstacles before he can understand what being human and what human greatness really means.

THE CITY OF LIONS illuminates a largely unknown chapter of the Second World War in Poland and at the same time tells a story about passion and the victory of inner values in a world of absurdity.

Short info:

Genre: Historical drama, Coming-of-Age

Time: 1930 – 1945

Work & PublicationsScriptsThe City of Lions