Agnieszka Holland

Agnieszka Holland

Infobox actor
name = Agnieszka Holland

imagesize =
caption =
birthdate = birth date and age|1948|11|28
birthplace = Warsaw, Poland
birthname =
othername =
occupation = film director and screenwriter
spouse = Laco Adamik
yearsactive =
website =

Agnieszka Holland (born November 28, 1948) is an award-winning Polish film and TV director and screenwriter. Best recognized for her highly political contributions to Polish New Wave cinema, Holland ranks as one of Poland's most prominent filmmakers.


Personal life

Holland was born in Warsaw, Poland, the daughter of journalists Irena (née Rybczynska) and Henryk Holland. [ [ Agnieszka Holland Biography (1948-) ] ] Her Jewish father's parents were killed in the ghetto, and her mother was a Catholic who fought in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and was a member of the Polish Underground. [ Holland Without a Country - New York Times ] ] Holland was raised without religion. [] Holland's mother later re-married to journalist Stanislaw Brodzki. Holland is the mother of Kasia Adamik, another Polish film director.


Holland graduated from the Prague Film and TV Academy (FAMU) in 1971. She began her career as an assistant director for the Polish film directors Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, including Zanussi's 1973 film "Illuminacja" and Wajda's 1982 film "Danton". Holland's first major film was "Provincial Actors" ("Aktorzy Prowincjonalni", 1978), a chronicle of the tense backstage relations within a small town theater company that served as a metaphor for Poland's contemporary political situation. The film won the International Critics Prize at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

Holland only directed two more major films in Poland, ' ("Gorączka", 1980) and ' ("Kobieta samotna", 1981), before emigrating to France, just before martial law was declared in Poland in December 1981. Holland received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film for her 1985 film "Angry Harvest", a German production about a Jewish woman on the run in World War II.

Perhaps Holland's best-known and well-regarded film is "Europa Europa" (1991), based on the biography of Solomon Perel, a Jewish teenager who fled Germany for Poland following Kristallnacht in 1938. Upon the outbreak of World War II and the German invasion of Poland, Perel fled to the Soviet-occupied section of Poland. Later captured during the German invasion of Russia in 1941, Soloman convinced a German officer that he was German and found himself enrolled in the Hitler Youth. The film received a lukewarm reception in Germany and the German Oscar selection committee did not include the film as a submission for the 1991 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. However, it became one of the most successful German films released in the US, winning a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

A friend of the noted Polish writer and director, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Holland collaborated on the screenplay for his film, "". Like Kieślowski, Holland frequently examines issues of faith in her work.

In a 1988 interview, she said that although women were important in her films, feminism was not the central theme of her work. Rather she suggested that when she was making films in Poland under the communist regime, there was an atmosphere of cross-gender solidarity against censorship, which was seen as the main political issue.

Holland's later films include "Olivier, Olivier" (1992), "The Secret Garden" (1993), "Total Eclipse" (1995), "Washington Square" (1997), the HBO production "Shot in the Heart" (2001), "Julia Walking Home" (2001) and "The Healer" (2004). Her most recent film is "Copying Beethoven" (2006).

In 2004 she directed "Moral Midgetry" the eighth episode of the third season of HBO drama series "The Wire".cite episode
title = Moral Midgetry
episodelink = Moral Midgetry (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = Agnieszka Holland
writers = David Simon (story), Richard Price (story and teleplay)
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2004-11-14
season = 3
number = 08
] cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 33 Moral Midgetry
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-08-09
url =
] Cite web|url=|title="The Wire" season 3 crew|accessdate=2007-10-14|publisher=HBO|year=2007] She returned in 2006 to direct the eighth episode of the fourth season "Corner Boys".cite episode
title = Corner Boys
episodelink = Corner Boys (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = Agnieszka Holland
writers = Ed Burns (story), Richard Price (story and teleplay)
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2004-11-05
season = 4
number = 08
] cite web
year = 2006
title = Episode guide - episode 45 Corner Boys
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-11-09
url =
] Cite web|url=|title="The Wire" season 4 crew|accessdate=2007-10-14|publisher=HBO|year=2007] Both episodes were written by acclaimed novelist Richard Price. Show runner David Simon credits producer Nina K. Noble for attracting Holland to the show through their association working on HBO movie "Shot In The Heart".Cite web|url=|title=3rd Exclusive David Simon interview|accessdate=2007-11-05|publisher=The Wire at AOL|year=2003|author=Jim King Page 5] Simon said that Holland was "wonderful behind the camera" and did an excellent job of staging the fight between Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell in "Moral Midgetry".

In 2007 she directed together with her sister Magdalena Łazarkiewicz and daughter Katarzyna Adamik the Polish political drama series "Ekipa". She is currently on the faculty as filmmaker-in-residence at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.


*"His penis saved his soul. Otherwise, he might have become a total Nazi." (on "Europa Europa" protagonist Solomon Perel, a circumcised Jew who posed as an "Aryan" German during World War II to escape persecution)


* "The True Story of Janosik and Uhocik" (TBA)
* "Ekipa" (2007)
*"The Wire"
** Episode 3.08 "Moral Midgetry" (2004)
** Episode 4.08 "Corner Boys" (2006)
* "Copying Beethoven" (2006)
* "Julia Walking Home" (2002)
* "Golden Dreams" (documentary, 2001)
* "Shot in the Heart" (2001)
* "The Third Miracle" (1999)
* "Washington Square" (1997)
* "Total Eclipse" (1995)
* "Red Wind" (TV movie, 1994)
* "The Secret Garden" (1993)
* "Olivier, Olivier" (1992)
* "Europa, Europa" (1990, Academy Award nominee for the best screenplay)
* "To Kill a Priest (1988)
* "Angry Harvest" ("Bittere Ernte", 1985, Germany, Academy Award nominee for the best foreign language film)
* "Culture" (documentary, 1985)
* "Postcards from Paris" (TV movie, 1982)
* "A Lonely Woman" ("Kobieta samotna", 1981)
* "Fever" ("Gorączka", 1980)
* "Provincial Actors" ("Aktorzy prowincjonalni", 1978, International Critics Prize at Cannes Film Festival)
* "Something for something" ("Coś za coś", TV movie, 1977)
* "Screen tests" ("Zdjęcia próbne", 1976)
* "Sunday Children" ("Niedzielne dzieci", 1977)
* "Pictures from Life: A Girl and Acquarius" ("Obrazki z życia: dziewczyna i "Akwarius", 1975)
* "Evening at Abdon's" ("Wieczór u Abdona", 1975)
* "Jesus Christ's Sin" ("Grzech Boga", 1970)

Further reading

* cite book
first=Barbara Koenig
title=Women Directors: The Emergence of a New Cinema
location=New York
id=ISBN 0-275-93477-2


External links

* [ Interview with Holland on Kieslowski]

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