PFFA ’11

From Dec ’11 Spotlight:

Award-winning director Agnieszka Holland, best-known internationally for her Oscar-nominated film Europa Europa, was in Chicago last month to show her new film In Darkness on the Opening Night of this year’s PFFA (Polish Film Festival in America).

Poland’s candidate for the 2012 “Best Foreign Language Film” Oscar, In Darkness is a harrowing, fact-based account of Jews from the Lvov ghetto hiding underground for over a year with assistance from sewer-worker Leopold Socha and his wife Magdalena.

Also in the audience that night was Janine Oberrotman, one of the local survivors who helped take our Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center from dream to reality. Who better to attest to the emotional veracity of the onscreen drama? In a follow-up e-mail message, Oberrotman told me: “The horror of the time and place were quite well depicted… when I viewed the interior of Socha’s apartment and the ritual of his bath, I felt transported to pre-war Poland.”

In Darkness opens in limited release this month, and is expected at Chicago theaters in late January. I will provide details-including a full review-as soon as I have an exact date. Meanwhile, to learn more about the Sochas, visit the Yad Vashem website.

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