IN DARKNESS tells the true story of Leopold Socha who risks his own life to save a dozen people from certain death. Initially only interested in his own good, the thief and burglar hides Jewish refugees for 14 months in the sewers of the German-occupied town of Lvov (former Poland). Written by
It's WWII in German-occupied Polish city Lwów. Leopold Socha is a sewer worker and an opportunist looking to enrich himself with Jewish gold. At first, he and his co-worker friend Szczepek Wróblewski help the Jews but only for a price. However, the danger of discovery mounts. Some people get suspicious. Leopold finds himself alone hiding his group even after they run out of money.
The obvious holocaust movie comparison is the great 'Schindler's List'. Of course, there is similarity between Schindler and Socha. However the characters in this movie seem move gritty. It's more than the grungy sewer location. It is the people's pettiness and ugly racism. It's not just the Germans, or the Ukranians or the Poles. It's also the Jews. For most of the movie, the motives are not high-minded. Fear and the survival instincts hold sway. The eventual idealism comes not as a single revelation as Schindler riding his horse watching the ghetto be liquidated. It comes in a series of steps that moves forward and backwards. More than once, Socha almost abandons his Jews and almost as many times, Socha is about to be killed by his Jews. This is more gritty and compelling in a different way. Socha is a hero almost by chance but it is his humanity overcoming his fears that is the true story. He is no mover and shaker. He is a blue collar grunt and he risks the little that he had for the sake of strangers. Filming in the narrow confines of the sewer set does limit the visual scale. It doesn't always provide the best views.
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