"In Darkness": Polish Oscar Candidate

In Darkness

On the set of In Darkness. Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, Polish Film Institute


The Oscar Committee, launched on June 28, 2011 by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage Bogdan Zdrojewski, with Dariusz Gajewski (chairman), Michał Chaciński, Agatha Dominik, Sławomir Jóźwik, Krzysztof Kamyszew, Zygmunt Miłoszewski, Agnieszka Odorowicz, Ilona Ostrowska, and Paweł Potoroczyn as its members, unanimously chose W ciemności (In Darkness) by Agnieszka Holland as the Polish candidate for the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.


W ciemności (In Darkness) was made in co-production between Poland, Germany, and Canada. It tells the story of Leopold Socha, a Polish man who went from smalltime crook to hero during the course of the Second World War. Risking his own life and the lives of his loved ones, he saves a dozen men, women, and children from certain extermination and helps them survive almost 14 months in hiding.


The role of Socha was played by Robert Więckiewicz. The film also stars Agnieszka Grochowska, Kinga Preis, Julia Kijowska, Marcin Bosak, and the German actor Benno Fürmann. The cinematographer credit goes to Jolanta Dylewska.


Agnieszka Holland previously received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for her film Europa, Europa in 1992. Her feature Bittere Ernte (Angry Harvest) received an Academy Award nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category in 1986, representing West Germany.


In Darkness was produced by Studio Filmowe Zebra, and co-produced by Hidden Films Inc. (Canada) and Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv GmbH (Germany). The film received financial support from the Polish Film Institute and the Łódź Film Fund.


Sony Pictures Classics, specialized in distributing and promoting foreign-language films in the US market, bought the rights to Holland’s latest film last February. Established in 1992, this branch of Sony Pictures Entertainment handled the US release of such films as In a Better World by Susanne Bier (Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award winner in 2010), Volver by Pedro Almodovar (Oscar nomination for Penelope Cruz in 2007), and The Lives of Others by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award winner in 2007). The distribution of Agnieszka Holland’s film in Poland will be handled by Kino Świat. In Darkness is set for theatrical release in January 2012.


Translated by Karolina Kołtun