Friday 11 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Drama · In Darkness

In Darkness

Phil Bacharach March 28th, 2012

It’s not as if there’s been a grievous shortage of movies detailing the horrors of the Holocaust. Even so, Poland’s In Darkness, which is scheduled to open Friday at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24, adds something to the cinematic discussion, chiefly in the form of its unlikely hero.

Based on factual events, it unfolds during World War II in the Polish town of Lvov, now part of Ukraine. Mass executions in the Warsaw Ghetto have driven about a dozen Jewish Poles to escape the Nazis by fleeing into the sewer system. They hide in the dank, dark confines of the underground, sharing their quarters with rats and rivers of excrement. 

Their benefactor, of sorts, is city sewer worker Leopold Socha (Robert Wieckiewicz), known to most of his fellow townspeople as Poldek. He is not ideal for the job of humanitarian. A miserable lump whose thievery and greed are matched by his virulent anti-Semitism, Socha agrees to help the Jews solely for money. He stands to get rich from the deal.

But then the inevitable change begins. In the hands of director Agnieszka Holland, who also explored the Holocaust in 1985’s Angry Harvest and 1990’s Europa Europa, Socha’s moral awakening is one of those rare movie transformations that feel organic and seamless. There is no epiphany moment, but rather a trickle of small realizations as the man accepts the humanity of what he calls “his Jews.” Wieckiewicz gives a commanding and subtle portrayal — one of last year’s great performances.

A 2011 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language film, In Darkness is often harrowing, but too long for its own good, clocking in at 145 minutes. While it doesn’t reach the mastery of such Holocaust films as Schindler’s List and The Pianist (few pictures do), this searing drama is still worthwhile viewing.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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