In Darkness [DVD]
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When a sewer worker discovers a group of Jews living under the streets of war torn Poland he immediately sees a profit to be made. But as the war rages, humanity grows in the shadows and an incredible true story of courage and sacrifice emerges.
A triumph of the spirit...Epic Cinema - BBC5Live
Angieszka Holland's bluntly realistic Holocaust drama stands apart from other attempts to film unfilmable events by painting a pitch black portrait of its heroes as well as its villains - ***** - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
**** - Time Out
**** Total Film
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Despite the sombre nature of the film it is actually more upbeat than Andrej Wajda's 1957 film "Kanal", where a group of Polish soldiers and guerillas take to the sewers after the heroic but doomed Warsaw uprising of 1944. That film contained few rays of future hope. Director Agnieszka Holland, who has been around for a while now, directs with just the right balance of horror and fear. The gradual awakening of a conscience in Socha is believable and well handled. Living in appalling conditions with the ever present threat of capture and immediate death must have been a nightmarish existence which she captures perfectly. The group has the inevitable arguments, as any group would in such claustrophobic circumstances. My favourite scene was when Socha's innocent daughter almost gives him away to one of the jew hunters. It was one of those hand over the face moments.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really a great film based on holocaust the way of narration and cast perfomances are tremendous. watch itPublished 16 days ago by vinodh
a good example of why the Europeans make better and more realistic war filmsPublished 2 months ago by Mike
I'm unable to write a review as my machine refuses to play this DVD, so it was a waste of money. I'm also very disappointed not being able to watch this DVD as the story line... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Baker
Great film, wspaniały film! Tells about the fate of a small group of Jewish people hiding in the sewers during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and the inner journey of the Polish... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Olivia
Having learnt about this story at university, I can Thoroughly recommend this film!Published 8 months ago by Mst2007