Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

In Darkness

In Darkness
Robert Wieckiewicz

Rated: R 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: January 30, 2012 Released by: Sony Pictures Classics

Agnieszka Holland's In Darkness (fully subtitled) is a disturbing, sweeping drama  that may be related in surface terms to the masterful Schindler's List, but still is a rewarding contending foreign film all its own.
A long WW II picture underground (beneath the bustling Polish metropolis of Lvov) over 14 months (working through its mostly unlighted, fetid environment like Downfall did in underground bunkers for Hitler and his minions in the two weeks before his demise) is drawn from the life of one Leopold Socha, a Catholic sewer inspector and smalltime crook.
Socha is endowed with increasing humanistic effervescent by Robert Wieckiewicz who risked his own life, as well as the his wife and daughter to hide a dozen Jews in a subterranean habitat familiar to him. As a contrast to Liam Neeson's portrait of Oskar Schindler, Socha decision was initially predicated on financial gain for himself and his family as the Jewish endowment exceeded what the Nazis offered for handing them over for deportment.
Holland (who made the seminal Europa Europa about a German Jew who in-filtered the Hitler Youth) smartly imbues an immersive quality similar to what Wolfgang Petersen did in the dynamic Das Boot as the rats are right there in the tightly knit quarters where bonding refugees try to survive. And, there is a side of restitution for Socha, committed to serving those under his "watch" even when his funding runs dry.
In Darkness is probably not for the faint of heart or those who have their bouts of claustrophobia as it uses its ominous atmosphere to find refuge in refuse and ultimately goodness as the Holocaust began to ravage Europe.

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In Darkness        B+                  B+ 

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