Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 16 March 2012 00:00

'In Darkness' Shines Light on Reluctant Heroism

ktrailer.blogspot.com ktrailer.blogspot.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Agnieszka Holland
  • Dates: Opens March 16, 2012

Polish director Agnieszka Holland at first resisted, before gradually and then enthusiastically embracing the true story of In Darkness. An eclectic group of a dozen Jews survived World War II by hiding for over a year in the sewers of Lvov, Poland, right under the noses of the occupying Nazis. Leopold Socha, a ne'er-do-well thief called Poldek, made this possible.

A lukewarm, anti-Semitic Catholic himself, Poldek selfishly exploits the situation by demanding the Jews pay handsomely for his and his criminal cohort's efforts to smuggle food and clothing. A sewer worker by trade and a likable iconoclast, Poldek changes enormously over grueling months as he and his friend get to know the men, women and children they hide from Nazi-collaborators, the Ukrainian militia, occupying the city.

At the Telluride Film Festival, director Holland said what intrigues her is the nature of complex heroes. The unpredictable, cynical and gritty Poldek is no angel, no self-appointed savior, and yet he becomes a great man. As embodied by superb Polish actor Robert Wieckiewicz, Poldek jumps off the screen while also remaining remarkably accessible and totally believable.

Based on Robert Marshall's book In the Sewers of Lvov as adapted by David F. Shamoon, In Darkness contrast the gloomy and tense underground world with the violent above ground environment.

Shifting allegiances and confrontations dominate both realms, offering a realistic continuum rather than a simplistic good versus evil dichotomy. The Jewish men, women and children are not generalized victims, a common, insulting approach. Instead, here they are multidimensional, specific individuals, alternately arguing and cooperating, admirable and collapsing under the pressure. It thereby invites us to wonder what we'd do and how our values would endure under such duress.

A bit too long at 2½ hours, In Darkness still maintains a powerful intensity at crucial junctures and an engaging humanity throughout. Poland has already designated In Darkness as its Best Foreign Film nominee for an Oscar. Don't bet against it. In German, Polish, Yiddish, and Ukrainian all with English subtitles. At a Landmark Cinema.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

February
Sunday
01

Discovery Series

The Discovery Series, a 10-event series spanning February to June, 2015, will not only bring you new music, but also music-focused interactive sessions that take a look at how music plays a role in our society. Each month the...


February
Monday
02

Fringe Third Annual Quick Draw - Artist networking and lottery drawing

This event marks the final step of the selection process for shows in the 2015 St. Lou Fringe Festival … but more importantly, it is a one-of-a-kind inside look at the city’s bravest, most creative performing passion...


February
Friday
06

Leo Kottke

KDHX welcomes Leo Kottke to The Sheldon on Friday, February 6th at 8 PM. Folk guitarist Leo Kottke is known for his innovative 12-string technique, and intimate performance style.


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

9 users and 9673 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook