Film Info: IN DARKNESS

IN DARKNESS

IN DARKNESS
Scene from IN DARKNESS (photo © SchmidtzKatze Filmkollektiv/ZEBRA Film Studio/The Film Works)

In March, 1943, Lvov, Poland is in the iron grip of Nazi occupation. Thanks to his expert knowledge of the sewers, petty thief Leopold Soha has found a menial job as a sewer worker. Though he's just scraping by, there are people in Lvov worse off than Soha: the Jews. Crowded into a ghetto, they are being worked to death. Realizing that the ghetto is about to be destroyed, a motley group meet in secret to plot an escape into the sewers.

They manage to tunnel down, but as soon as they enter the sewers, they are discovered by Soha. The Jews offer him money to hide them. The consequences of aiding Jews are public hanging of the helper and his entire family. But Soha needs the money, and in spite of grave misgivings, they strike a deal. As the Nazis start to liquidate the Lvov ghetto, Soha seizes the opportunity to profit by keeping them hidden and protected from the devastation above. As the pressure to betray the Jews builds, Soha abandons them. But fate and his conscience drive him back, and he commits himself to protecting his new "family" at all costs.


Agnieszka Holland was born in 1948 in Warsaw and studied at the FAMU Film Academy in Prague. She began her film career as a director's assistant under Krzysztof Zanussi. Before she began directing herself, she wrote numerous screenplays together with her mentor Andrzej Wajda. One of the most well-known directors internationally, her films include: ANGRY HARVEST (BITTERE ERNTE, 1985), EUROPA EUROPA (HITLERJUNGE SOLOMON, 1990), OLIVIER, OLIVIER (1992), THE SECRET GARDEN (DER GEHEIME GARTEN, 1993), FALLEN ANGELS (TV, 1993), WASHINGTON SQUARE (1997), SHOT IN THE HEART (TV, 2001), JULIE WALKING HOME (2002), IN DARKNESS (2011), and many more.
Genre History, Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2011
Director Agnieszka Holland
Screenplay David Shamoon
Cinematography Jolanta Dylewska
Cast Robert Wieckiewicz, Benno Fürmann, Agnieszka Grochowska, Maria Schrader, Herbert Knaup, Kinga Preis
Producers Steffen Reuter, Patrick Knippl, Marc-Daniel Dichant, Leander Carell
Co-Producers Juliusz Machulski, Eric Jordan, Paul Stephens
Production Company SCHMIDTz KATZE FILMKOLLEKTIV/Berlin & Halle, in co-production with Zebra Films/Warsaw, The Film Works/Toronto
Length 144 min
Format 35 mm, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
 Polish, Yiddish, German
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Toronto 2011 (Special Presentations), Telluride 2011, Valladolid 2011, Stockholm 2011, Mar del Plato 2011 (International Competition), Plus Cameraimage 2011 (In Competition), Palm Springs 2012, Hong Kong 2012, Istanbul 2012, Golden Apricot Yerevan 2012, Busan 2012, European FF Lecce 2017
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, German Federal Film Fund, HessenInvest

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