OPERATION HYACINTH on Netflix is a new crime story from Poland (org. title Hiacynt) and it’s based on real events. For this reason alone, drama is another key genre – as is thriller along the way. Read our full Operation Hyacinth movie review here!

OPERATION HYACINTH is a new Netflix movie from Poland. The genre is essentially true crime since it’s based on real events. However, since the story in this particular movie isn’t based on one particular event, the genre is crime and drama as well as thriller to drive the plot forward.

As it’s always the case with the Polish Netflix productions, the production quality is impressive. The same must be said for both the story and acting. In fact, with the current state of LGBTQ rights in Poland, this is a very brave movie. It does run a bit slow at times, but always with a purpose.


Check out our review of The Mire ’97 which was released a few months ago >

Continue reading our Operation Hyacinth movie review below and find the movie on Netflix now.

The power of secrets

The title of this Netflix crime movie refers to the codename for the files kept on LGBTQ individuals. The files were also known as “pink files” and before the end credits, you get a few more facts about this practice from the 1980s.

As we learn in Operation Hyacinth, the purpose of hunting down LGBTQ people was sometimes to punish them with jail time. However, in most cases, it was to blackmail them. The story takes place in 1985 and the secret police are very powerful.

Especially due to the forced cooperation from many civilians – usually by way of blackmail.

Part of me would have loved that a character, who wasn’t LGBTQ themselves, had wanted to protect these individuals. However, I also get that it makes for a more compelling story – and a much more realistic one!

Operation Hyacinth – Netflix Review

Familiar faces from other Netflix productions

The main character is portrayed by Tomasz Zietek who delivers a very strong performance. If Tomasz Zietek hadn’t worked as this character, then the movie wouldn’t have worked.

If you’ve watched some of the other impressive Netflix productions from Poland, you’ll recognize several of the actors in Operation Hyacinth. Including Hubert Milkowski who played a key role in the Harlan Coben series The Woods which you’ll want to check out.


Our review of the Polish Harlan Coben mini-series The Woods here 

Also, as an agent for the Secret Police (or assassin, is more like it), we see Andrzej Klak from Prime Time (2021) in a very different role. Adrianna Chlebicka starred in the rom-com Squared Love (2021) as well as the YouTube series Control which also has an LGBTQ story.

As a rule, I don’t think any Polish actor would participate in a production like this unless they’re at least an ally to the LGBTQ community. The current political climate is that intense there right now!

Watch Operation Hyacinth on Netflix now!

Piotr Domalewski is the director of this Polish Netflix movie. He has already worked as a co-creator on the Netflix series Sexify (and directed several episodes), so it seems Piotr Domalewski has a good working relationship with Netflix. This is good for us since we can then expect more Netflix productions from him.

The screenplay for Operation Hyacinth (org. title Hiacynt) was written by Marcin Ciaston. The movie premiered at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia prior to its Netflix release. At the film festival, Marcin Ciaston won the Screenplay Award for this movie which was his feature film debut.

Overall, what works is the fact that Operation Hyacinth has a very solid cast portraying vastly different characters. Thanks to the fairly long runtime of 112 minutes, we even get the chance to understand their motives. Often it’s related to fear or power, but love and a sense of right and wrong also play in.

Check out this movie if you’re interested in seeing the very dark side of being a minority.

Operation Hyacinth is out on Netflix from October 13, 2021.


Director: Piotr Domalewski
Screenplay: Marcin Ciaston
Stars: Tomasz Zietek, Hubert Milkowski, Marek Kalita, Adrianna Chlebicka, Tomasz Schuchardt, Sebastian Stankiewicz, Piotr Trojan


Poland, 1985. The communist government keeps the country in check. The most recent campaign authorised by the government is Operation Hyacinth, which consists of creating a register of gay men all over Poland to “prevent crime”.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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