Agnieszka Holland, one of Poland’s most prominent filmmakers visiting Armenia for the screening of her film “In Darkness” at the Golden Apricot Film Festival, told reporters that, “A quality film about the Armenian Genocide still needs to be made. It’s a reality that still needs recognition.”
Holland, many of whose films deal with WWII, was at a loss to explain why a good film has yet to be made regarding the 70 year existence of the Soviet Union and the terrible repression that took place within its borders.
Considered a Hollywood outsider, Holland stated that she is one of those directors who place the primarmy emphasis on the composition which is succeeded by the placement of the images.
“They coalesce and create a history that answers those questions that compel me to make films,” Hollan explained.
Perhaps Holland's best-known and well-regarded film is Europa Europa (1991), based on the biography of Solomon Perel, a Jewish teenager who fled Germany for Poland following Kristallnacht in 1938.
In Darkness (2011), a nominee for Best Foreign Language Film award at the 84th Academy Awards as Polish entry, is based on true events.
The film tells a story of Leopold Socha, a sewer worker in the Nazi-occupied Polish city of Lwów (since 1945 Lviv, Ukraine), who used his knowledge of the city's sewer system to shelter a group of Jews of the Lvov Ghetto during the Holocaust in Poland.
It’s a theme that strongly resonates with Holland who was born in Warsaw a few years after the end of the WWII.
Her father’s parents were killed in the ghetto, and her mother participated in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and was a member of the Polish Underground.
“I didn’t select this theme, it selected me many years ago and I have become its slave,” Holland said.
Before martial law was declared in Poland, she had emigrated to France in 1981.