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In Darkness [Blu-ray] [2011] [US Import]

Robert Wieckiewicz , Benno Fürmann , Agnieszka Holland    Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Price: £7.95
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Frequently Bought Together

In Darkness [Blu-ray] [2011] [US Import] + Flowers of War [Blu-ray]
Price For Both: £14.85

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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Wieckiewicz, Benno Fürmann, Agnieszka Grochowska, Maria Schrader, Herbert Knaup
  • Directors: Agnieszka Holland
  • Writers: David F. Shamoon, Robert Marshall
  • Producers: Andrzej Besztak, Anna Maria Zündel, Charlie Woebcken, Christoph Fisser, David F. Shamoon
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Jun 2012
  • Run Time: 145 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006IW8DTO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,678 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Schindler's List in the Sewers... 5 July 2012
Based on true events which took place in the Polish city of Luvov in WW2, this gruelling arthouse film revisits the emotional and factual territory familiar from Anne Frank's diary and Schindler's List. It seeks out rare fragments of human integrity and benevolence which have been all but extinguished under the Nazi boot in occupied territory. It is not a nice film, and the story is frighteningly familiar.
When the Jewish ghetto in the city is liquidated, and the people are either shot on the spot or shipped to a labour camp, a group of Jews flee into the city's sewers. A neer-do-well sewer worker (who moonlights as a looter) discovers them and strikes a bargain: he'll feed and find a safe haven in the rat-infested, stinking hellhole for a dozen of them. And they must pay him to stay alive.
So begins an appalling underground incarceration which lasts for over a year and which rasps away every aspect of sophistication from the disparate group. At first the sight of a rat is enough to cause shrieking hysterics. Later, the children pluck the animals from their shoulders without a second thought. Yet despite the relentless tension and misery, the majority of the refugees retain their better qualities: on the whole they seek to protect, to nurture and to survive as a unit. They may indeed be starving in darkness, but their lives are not without light.

Although 'In Darkness' makes for stressful and occasionally grim viewing, it is not without its lighter moments of humour and blackly comic insight. In particular the scenes between Socha, the sewer worker who turns out to be the Jews' saviour, and his wife are entirely life-affirming.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polish Tale of Surviving the Nazi occupation. 18 July 2012
By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is based on the true story of Leopold Socha (Robert Wieckiewicz) who during war torn Poland worked as a sewer inspector in the Polish town of Lvov (it is now Ukrainian called Lviv). He supplemented his income by burglarising houses and selling the goods on the black market - this included many former houses of the Jews that had been sent to the ghettos or worse.

Then the Nazis come to take everyone, the Jews have anticipated this and had already seen the sewer as a sort of refuge. Socha and his accomplice have already seen this as a possible way to make money, so they strike a bargain with the Jews that in return for payment that they will be looked after. What started out as a money making scheme soon becomes something more for Socha as he sees the terrible events unfold as the war staggers to its ultimate conclusion. We also get to see the brutal effects of even `casual collaboration' and the arbitrary `justice' meted out by the occupiers.

This is a Polish, German and Canadian co production and is in Polish, German, Yiddish and Ukrainian so obviously is sub titled, but this should not put you off. All of the performances are compelling and the tension and fear is palpable through out. The creeping madness of being shut in a sewer for months is not covered up and the filth is omnipresent. One can only begin to imagine how horrific it must have been. Socha and his family were named as "Righteous among the Nations" by Yad Vashem in Israel for their efforts.

This is not a war film in the normal sense but is a tale of true heroism and suffering that is caused by war and is a brilliant compliment to the many new films that are being made about the struggles of ordinary people caught up in a war they did not understand and showing extraordinary ability to overcome the situations they are forced in - highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Lance Grundy TOP 1000 REVIEWER
When Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, became allies and invaded Poland in 1939 they divided the country into two zones. There was a German-occupied zone in the west and a Soviet-occupied zone in the east. The Polish city of Lwow [now Lviv in Ukraine] was situated in the Soviet-occupied eastern zone and was, at that time, home to around 120,000 Jews. Over the following 18 months the number of Jews living in the city would swell to more than 220,000 as tens of thousands of Jewish refugees fled from the Nazi-occupied western part of Poland to the relative safety of the Soviet-occupied east. However, on 22 June 1941 Germany reneged on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, declared war on the Soviet Union and launched Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of its former ally. The Germans reached Lwow on 30 June 1941 and immediately set about persecuting the city's Jewish population. At the end of 1941 the Germans established the Lwow Ghetto and all Jews living in the city were forced to move there. By June 1943 the Jews in the ghetto had outlived their usefulness to the Nazis and the ghetto was liquidated. The residents were rounded up, herded onto cattle trucks and sent to their deaths in the Belzec extermination camp. However, a small number of Jews managed to escape into the city's sewers and, with the help of a Polish sewer worker and petty criminal called Leopold Socha, they were able to survive there until the city was liberated by the Red Army on 26 July 1944. This film tells the true story of Leopold Socha and the Jews he saved.

A Polish-German co-production, in Polish with English subtitles, "In Darkness" is an inspiring dramatisation of real events which reminds us that the most ordinary people are capable of the most extraordinary things.
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