In darkness

In darkness

Blu-ray Disc - 2012 | Polish
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Leopold Socha is a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a Nazi occupied city in Poland. One day he 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.

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f
firefly5
Jul 08, 2016

Returned. Did not realize this was in Polish.

h
hammer59
Mar 16, 2016

Powerful and moving film based on a true story.
Nominated for an Academy Award in 2011, and deservedly so.

This is a story that should be known.

j
JoaBiblio
Feb 21, 2016

Leopold Socha: another unsung hero.
Impressive film, well done in every sense.
Thumbs up!

d
dprodrig
Jan 04, 2016

I really was touched and moved by this movie. It has so much to offer and very little of it is pretty, from the greed and extortion first offered by Leopold, to the reality of living in a Nazi occupied state where the death of one soldier justifies the killing of 50 innocent people, to the filth and darkness (metaphorical and otherwise) of having to live with rats in the sewers barely trusting the saviour who put you there. The interview with the sole survivor, Krystyna, in the special features is sweet.

g
garycornell
Jan 03, 2016

The story of Leopold Socha is an amazing portrait in courage of a Polish man trying to help keep Jews hide from the Nazi's for 14 months. The movie gives an amazing account of these Jewish families and their struggle to survive. It should never be forgotten!

n
Nursebob
Dec 31, 2014

As the Nazis cut a bloody swath through the Jewish ghetto of Lvov, a handful of desperate people seek refuge in the sewers beneath the city. Woefully short on supplies and confused by the complex maze of crumbling tunnels and narrow conduits, they find themselves completely at the mercy of Leopold Socha, a Christian sewer worker whose motives for aiding the renegade Jews are more monetary than humanitarian. Despite the rats, the foul dank atmosphere and several deaths, the surviving fugitives settle into something resembling a routine with daily prayers for some, homework for the children and illicit sexual liaisons for others. But when their bribe money runs out and Socha begins to feel the pressure of harbouring “Jewish vermin”, a capital offense under German occupation, an already grave situation quickly becomes unbearable. Agnieszka Holland accomplishes two amazing things with her near perfect film; first of all she manages to concentrate the horrors of Germany’s pogrom against the Jews into an area the size of an underground chamber (ironically located beneath a Catholic cathedral) and secondly, by using only three main characters, Socha; his wife and his small daughter, she records the reaction of an entire nation. While he devises a plan to cash in on the escapees’ desperation, his wife goes from religious pacifism to frightened denial when the question of aiding the persecuted ceases to be a moral abstract. Meanwhile their daughter exhibits a bewildered innocence towards the atrocities around her as she plays with her “Jewish dollies” one moment and takes her father to see a row of hanged prisoners the next. Even the hidden refugees, romanticized by so many directors in the past, are shown here as fully human with all their flaws and qualities intact. There is a dynamic evolution in Holland’s work as her characters undergo changes in both heart and mind. A magnificent final sequence fraught with icy tension ends with all the dignity and confusion one would expect and left me with one of the most powerful cinematic images thus far; an open manhole cover seen from below, blinding white sunlight, and an arm reaching down...

nickmick Jan 16, 2014

Great movie. Check the interview part as well.

v
velloxal
Jun 13, 2013

War is always messy. How can you find human being in yourself. People are afraid of theirs own shadows. It's time you will know who your friends are. Can you find courage to help others risking your own life and your family...
Humanity is an answer to this drastic and difficult time.

b
BertBailey
Mar 04, 2013

Another very good flick about the murkiness below the surface of pretty much all of us, when pressed by circumstances. About a group of Jews who hide in the Lvov sewers during the Nazi occupation of Poland. The characters are, one and all, imperfect: every shade of gray, ranging from bad to worse, given the dire circumstances of wartime: racist Poles (who aren't altogether heartless), unreliable Jews (who of course are the locus of the movie's sympathy), Ukrainians driven to brutality as Nazis (er, unredeemed, except by inference from Stalinism), etc. In fact, it's one of the few 2nd World War films chock full of villains where German Nazis hardly play a part -- which, in some parts of Europe during that hell, would be 100% true to the facts. Bleak but well worth watching.

l
librarianatlarge
Jan 24, 2013

A very moving film about a group of Jews trying to survive in the sewers of Lviv, Poland, and the Polish sewer worker who tries to save them. This film is based on a true story. Harrowing, touching and inspiring. Most of the characters are well developed, with only a few stereotypes. These are ordinary people caught up in horrific circumstances. Although a little long at 145 minutes, it is absorbing. The post script of the words spoken at a funeral are chilling.

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Ron@Ottawa
Dec 20, 2012

Sexual Content: Nudity and explicit sexual activities make this film not suitable for children.

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