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Agnieszka Holland's In Darkness Gets Oscar Qualifying Run in December

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 3, 2011 at 9:49AM

Sony Pictures Classics is giving Agnieszka Holland's Polish holocaust drama In Darkness, which played well at both Telluride and Toronto, an Oscar-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles from December 9-15. The Polish Oscar submission should be a strong contender for the foreign film Oscar. Holland has been nominated twice, for Europa, Europa and Angry Harvest. She also co-wrote mentor Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue and directed 1993's The Secret Garden as well as some of the best shows on cable: HBO's The Wire and Treme (for which she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing) and two episodes of The Killing.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Sony Pictures Classics is giving Agnieszka Holland's Polish holocaust drama In Darkness, which played well at both Telluride and Toronto, an Oscar-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles from December 9-15. The Polish Oscar submission should be a strong contender for the foreign film Oscar. Holland has been nominated twice, for Europa, Europa and Angry Harvest. She also co-wrote mentor Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Blue and directed 1993's The Secret Garden as well as some of the best shows on cable: HBO's The Wire and Treme (for which she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing) and two episodes of The Killing.

Of In Darkness Todd McCarthy writes:

"This story of suffering and almost inadvertent humanitarianism is harrowing, engrossing, claustrophobic and sometimes literally hard to watch, since much of the action takes place in the dim sewers."

The synopsis for In Darkness is below:

IN DARKNESS is the story of Leopold Socha (Robert Więckiewicz,) a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a German occupied city in Poland, who encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto, and hides them for money in the labyrinth of the town’s sewers beneath the bustling activity of the city above. What starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement turns into something very unexpected, the unlikely alliance between Socha and the Jews, as the enterprise seeps deeper into Socha’s conscience. The film is also an extraordinary story of survival as the men, women and children in hiding all try to outwit certain death during 14 months of ever increasing and intense danger. IN DARKNESS was filmed on location in Poland and Germany as well as Berlin’s Studio Babelsberg where the crew and cast worked in recreated water-filled sewers.

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Genres, Studios, Reviews, Oscars, Period, Drama, Foreign, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.