In this article, Elżbieta Ostrowska employs categories of postcolonialism to examine two novels by Henryk Sienkiewicz,With Fire and Sword and Fire in the Steppe, and their filmic adaptations by Jerzy Hoffman. Her aim is to reconstruct their ideological discourse regarding Polish national identity and its positioning within Europe. Located between east and west, Poland was both a colonizing power (of Ukraine, Lithuania, and Belorussia) and a colonized country (by Russia, Prussia, and Austria-Hungary). These two novels, written during the time of partitions, offer a nostalgic vision of the country’s past power and its colonizing aspirations. Ostrowska argues that various textual efforts aimed at solidifying the notion of national identity and its positioning within a geopolitical order of Europe are disrupted by structures of female desire implicitly present in both the novels and films. These structures puncture the solid fabric of the national historical epic and undermine the hegemonic notion of Polish masculinity.