In Darkness

February 10th 2012
  • Drama/Historical,
  • R,
  • 145 min,
  • Sony Pictures Classics
  • Cast: Robert Wieckiewicz, Benno Fürmann, Agnieszka Grochowska, Maria Schrader, Herbert Knaup, Marcin Bosak, Krzysztof Skonieczny, Milla Bankowicz, Oliwer Stanczak, Kinga Preis, Weronika Rosati, Alexandre Levit, Frank-Michael Köbe, Joachim Paul Assböck, Maja Bohosiewicz, Piotr Glowacki, Julia Kijowska, Ida Lozinska, Andrzej Mastalerz, Aleksander Mincer, Aniela Nykowska, Zofia Pieczynska, Maria Semotiuk, Etl Szyc, Jerzy Walczak, Michal Zurawski
  • Director: Agnieszka Holland
  • Writer: David F. Shamoon
  • Producers: Leander Carell, Wojciech Danowski, Marc-Daniel Dichant, Eric Jordan, Patrick Knippel, Juliusz Machulski, Steffen Reuter, Paul Stephens
  • Executive Producers: Christoph Fisser, Charlie Woebcken, Anna Maria Zündel
  • Art Directions: Joris Hamann, Niels Müller, Marcel Slawinski, Katarzyna Sobanska-Strzalkowska
  • Casting: Weronika Migon
  • Costume Designs: Jagna Janicka, Nadine Kremeier, Katarzyna Lewinska
  • D.O.P.: Jolanta Dylewska
  • Editor: Mike Czarnecki
  • Makeups: Mandula Hilf, Janusz Kaleja
  • Music: Antoni Komasa-Lazarkarkiewicz
  • Production Design: Erwin Prib
  • Set Decoration: Mark Rosinski


"In Darkness" is the story of Leopold Socha (Robert Więckiewicz,) a sewer worker and petty thief in Lvov, a German occupied city in Poland, who encounters a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto, and 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.

The film is also an extraordinary story of survival as the men, women and children in hiding all try to outwit certain death during 14 months of ever increasing and intense danger. "In Darkness" was filmed on location in Poland and Germany as well as Berlin's Studio Babelsberg where the crew and cast worked in recreated water-filled sewers.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Filming Locations: Berlin, Germany; Warsaw, Poland
  • MPAA Warning: Violence, disturbing images, sexuality, nudity and language
  • Production Companies: Schmidtz Katze Filmkollektiv, The Film Works, Studio Filmowe Zebra
  • Production Schedule: 25 January 2010 - 1 April 2010

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2012 Guide Analysis: "Premiering at Telluride last year, this Polish WW2-set true story drama is the country's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars this year. Set in a Polish-dominated city in Nazi-Occupied Ukraine, the story tells of a Catholic sewer worker who tenuously protects roughly a dozen Polish Jews who hid from the Nazis for more than a year in the sewers under Lvov.

What's interesting here is the protagonist isn't someone with a higher cause about saving people or doing the right thing. Instead he's a grubby opportunist and former thief, something of a mercenary with no real higher motivation other than who makes him the best offer. Add in some tension and even irony-laced twists and you have a moderately fresh take on familiar material.

Reviews out of Telluride were strong, saying it's a tad unusual but still a strong work that art house audiences will lap up. Shot on the RED camera, the grimy sewer-set scenes lit only by torches are murky enough to occasionally cause confusion. The tradeoff however sounds like it's worth it."

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 5 January 2012: Poland
  • 9 February 2012: Germany
  • 16 March 2012: Ireland, UK
  • 20 April 2012: Spain