IN DARKNESS

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February 9, 2012, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Cinematheque108 and Sony Pictures Classics invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

In Darkness


Directed by Agnieszka Holland
Screenplay by David F. Shamoon
Based on the book “In The Sewers of Lvov”
by Robert Marshall

7:00 P.M. on Thursday, February 9th, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
 
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
 
Official Selection: 2011 Telluride Film Festival, 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Special Presentation
 
Critics’ Choice Movie Award Nominee: Best Foreign Language Film

Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, 2012 Academy Awards

Opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, February 10th, 2012

About In Darkness

From acclaimed director Agnieszka Holland, In Darkness is based on a true story. Leopold Socha, a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi occupied city in Poland, one day encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto. He 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 these men, women and children all try to outwit certain death during 14 months of ever increasing and intense danger.

Provided courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics. Rated R. Running time: 145 minutes. In Polish, German, Yiddish and Ukrainian, with English subtitles.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.

 

Director's Statement

2009 brought a number of new Holocaust stories in books and films. One may ask if everything has now been said on this subject. But in my opinion the main mystery hasn’t yet been resolved, or even fully explored. How was this crime (echoes of which continue in different places in the world from Rwanda to Bosnia) possible? Where was Man during this crisis? Where was God? Are these events and actions the exception in human history or do they reveal an inner, dark truth about our nature?

Exploring the many stories from this period uncovers the incredible variety of human destinies and adventures, revealed in the richest texture of plots and dramas, with characters that face difficult moral and human choices, exercising both the best and the worst in human nature.  

One of those stories is Leopold Socha and the group of Jews from Lvov’s Ghetto, whom he hides in the city’s sewers.  The main character is ambiguous: seemingly a good family man, yet a petty thief and a crook, religious and immoral at the same time, perhaps an ordinary man, living in terrible times. During the story Socha grows in many ways as a human being. There is nothing easy or sentimental in his journey. This is why it’s fascinating; it’s why we can make this journey with him.

The group of Jews he saves is not made of angels. The fear, the terrible conditions, their own selfishness make them complex and difficult, sometimes unbearable human beings. But they are real and alive, and their imperfections give them a stronger claim to their right to life than any idealized version of victims could.

I immediately liked the story, liked the potential of it, the characters, and the script.

The biggest and the most exciting challenge for me as a filmmaker was the darkness. They live in the dark, stink, wet and isolation for over a year. We knew we had to express it, to explore this underground world in a very special, realistic, human and intimate way. We wanted the audience to have the sensual feeling of being there. And to maintain tension as the viewer slowly becomes attached to the story. The dynamic of the film is built on inter-cutting the worlds of the two leads, Socha and Mundek. These two worlds come together to be one, in which they must work together to survive.

-- Agnieszka Holland

About Cinematheque108

Cinematheque108 is an alternative screening series sponsored by the Critical Studies Department at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. The series offers a rare selection of events that highlight noteworthy experimental, documentary, and/or foreign films, many of which can not be seen anywhere else. Cinematheque108 is an educational forum that aims to expand understanding of alternative film and media. All screenings are free of charge and open to the pubic.

About Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu