Operation Hyacinth Netflix Movie

The Netflix movie, Operation Hyacinth, gets its name from the actual operation hyacinth. This was a real, secret mass operation of the communist Polish police carried out in the years 1985–87, with the intent to create national database of all Polish homosexuals and people affiliated with them (resulted in over 10,000 people). Their methodology for getting there is astonishingly cruel.

The real shocker for me isn’t the movie, but how Poland today is no better, in regards to how the Polish government treats LGBTQ+ people. Surely you remember their so called LGBTQ+ free zones; and their bigot of a Prime Minister and all his affiliates. They may not keep a list for homosexuals anymore (for now), but make no mistake, they’re hellbent on silencing or threatening the LGBTQ+ community.

Anyways, back to the movie. As you would guess, the movie revolves mostly around the police and their cruelty towards gay people. The protagonist (Tomasz) is a police officer himself, as his father is the captain. He’s gay, but he manages to hide it, especially because of his marriage to a wife. He’s not a hypocrite thankfully; he’s sympathetic towards the gay community, and does as much as he possibly could without drawing attention to himself. He also has a boy on the the side, Arek, who also serves as an informant to help Tomasz solve a certain crime.

Arek, the boy on the side for Tomasz.

The crime committed was done in a police jail chamber, in which a gay guy is conveniently dead, and the police won’t bother to investigate it, because why would they? From this point forward, the film shows the struggles of being gay in a homophobic society, where you must balance your friends and activities with stealth, lest the literal gay police will beat the shit out of you. At the same time, there is also the AIDS epidemic, and in communist Poland you can bet they handled it worse than Ronald Reagan did.