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In Darkness

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From 23 March

In DarknessPoland’s official entry to the 2012 Oscars, In Darkness tells the remarkable, true story of Leopold Socha, a sewer worker who saved the lives of a dozen people in WW2 Poland.  Socha, a part-time petty thief and anti-semite, is initially motivated by his own gain in agreeing to harbour a group of Jews underground, moving them around the city of Lvov’s sewerage system to keep them from detection by the occupying Nazis – and fellow Lvov citizens.  Over time Socha’s relationship with them changes, and eventually he is asked to stake not only his own life but also those of his family to provide alibis for the fugitives.  Defying expectation, the group endures 14 gruelling months underground, leading a subterranean existence as Socha acts as interface with the world above ground.

The film presents itself almost as an answer to Schindler’s List, from the director who has been developing a television side line by directing episodes of “The Wire” and “The Killing”.  Dark it may be, but this brilliant film from two-time Academy Award nominee Agnieszka Holland (Bittere Ernte, Europa, Europa) brims with hope, celebrating the capacity of human endeavour in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Polish, Yiddish, Ukranian and German with English subtitles.