The Darkness

The Darkness

One day Leopold encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto and agrees to hide them for money in the labyrinth of the town's sewers. But what starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement soon turns into something very unexpected, as the unlikely alliance between Leopold and the Jews seeps deeper into his conscience and they form an incredibly close bond. An extraordinary story of survival and the inherent capacity for love held deep within the human soul, In Darkness is an emotional tour de force that will stay with audiences for years to come. 3.4 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
The Darkness

Omniscore:

Certificate 15
Genre Drama, War
Director Agnieszka Holland
Cast Benno Fürmann, Agnieszka Grochowska Robert Wieckiewicz
Studio Metrodome Group
Release Date March 2012
Running Time 145 mins
 

One day Leopold encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto and agrees to hide them for money in the labyrinth of the town's sewers. But what starts out as a straightforward and cynical business arrangement soon turns into something very unexpected, as the unlikely alliance between Leopold and the Jews seeps deeper into his conscience and they form an incredibly close bond. An extraordinary story of survival and the inherent capacity for love held deep within the human soul, In Darkness is an emotional tour de force that will stay with audiences for years to come.

Reviews

The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

Has something different from the storytelling brashness of Spielberg's Schindler's List – although there are similarities, including a reformed rogue and a chilling Nazi. In its fear, shame and horror, it's possibly closer to The Third Man. The brickwork tunnels, with their flickering ripples of filthy water, all look familiar. Here, the sewers are an earthly hell, a purgatorial afterlife running in parallel with the life being lived, making everyone's deepest fears a reality.

15/03/2012

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

They brilliantly capture the claustrophobia and the rat-infested filth of the tunnels, while the vanishing outlines of humans contain an almost painterly aura of light and shade. At the beginning of their ordeal the half-lit figures look like something from medieval religious painting. By the end they look like the gaunt ghosts of Egon Schiele.

16/03/2012

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Empire Magazine

David Hughes

A nerve-jangling odyssey into the underground world.

12/03/2012

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Time Out

Trevor Johnston

This Oscar-nominated drama uncovers an incredible true story of courage and humanity. What’s distinctive and worthwhile about Agnieszka Holland’s film, though, is how it sees the diverse shades within that humanity, eschewing the moral absolutes which – for understandable reasons – have dominated this cinematic territory.

13/03/2012

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The Times

Kate Muir

A tough, worthwhile watch, and while In Darkness seems to be a descent into Dante’s circles of hell, it also manages to be compelling, sharp drama.

16/03/2012

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Total Film

Paul Bradshaw

The film never hides its uncomfortable truths in the shadows.

05/03/2012

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The Los Angeles Times

Kenneth Turan

Not a typical Holocaust film. For one thing ... Holland's directing style is cool, almost dispassionate. It's as though she's insisting that, as detailed in David Shamoon's effective script, these horrific events should speak for themselves without special pleading, if they are to speak at all. And for another, the film's focus is not on the Jews but on the anti-Semitic, Catholic Pole who becomes their unlooked-for savior and lifeline.

09/12/2011

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The New Yorker

David Denby

The story never collapses into a simple morality tale; there’s heroism and cowardice on both sides.

13/02/2012

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

You do not go to a movie like this to learn, but rather to feel: to pity the victims, despise the villains, and identify with both the vulnerable and the brave. In Darkness ... obligingly supplies the desired emotions, which means that, in spite of its grim setting, it is finally more comforting than troubling.

08/12/2011

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Time Magazine

Richard Corliss

So many movies have been made about this appalling tragedy that it has become its own genre populated with noble victims and flinty, finally heroic enablers, and too easily reduced to sanctified, sodden cliché. In Darkness, though inspired by actual events and real people, doesn’t mind flirting with those stereotypes. The rib-poking score tells audiences when to cry — as if, under the circumstances, they’d need prodding.

09/02/2012

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The Scotsman

Alistair Harkness

It’s too bad, [then,] that the film isn’t averse to plundering what have become the increasingly tired clichés of this mini genre. As their situation becomes incrementally more desperate, any initial character complexity is rendered obsolete by neat reversals and a reluctant hero who always seems to be on hand at the right moment.

15/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Takes a strong subject, the Holocaust. But Polish director Agnieszka Holland does little but stare at it like a child trying to make out shapes in the night.

15/03/2012

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