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Agnieszka Holland Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (1)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (1)

Born in Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland

Mini Bio (1)

Having graduated from FAMU in Prague film (1971), Agnieszka Holland returned to Poland and began her film career working with Krzysztof Zanussi as assistant director, and Andrzej Wajda as her mentor. Her first feature film was PROVINCIAL ACTORS (1978), one of the flagship pictures of the "cinema of moral disquiet" and the winner of the International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980. Subsequently, she made the films FEVER (1980) and THE LONELY WOMAN (1981). In 1981, just before the declaration of the state of emergency in Poland, Agnieszka Holland emigrated to France.

She directed ANGRY HARVEST (1985) which was nominated for a foreign-language Oscar. Her film EUROPA EUROPA (1990) also received a U.S. Academy Award nomination (best screenplay) and IN DARKNESS (2011) was again nominated as best foreign-language film. She also collaborated with her friend Krzysztof Kieslowski on the screenplay of his trilogy, THREE COLOURS (1993).

Holland's other films include TO KILL A PRIEST (1988), OLIVIER, OLIVIER (1992), THE SECRET GARDEN (1993), TOTAL ECLIPSE (1995), WASHINGTON SQUARE (1997), THE THIRD MIRACLE (1999), SHOT IN THE HEART (2001), JULIE WALKING HOME (2001), COPYING BEETHOVEN (2006), IN DARKNESS (2011), BURNING BUSH (2013), SPOOR (2017), MR. JONES (2019) and CHARLATAN (2020). She also directed several episodes of many notable TV series, including THE WIRE, JAG, COLD CASE, TREME (for the pilot of the latter she was nominated for an Emmy) and HOUSE OF CARDS. Agnieszka Holland has also written or co-written screenplays for films made by other directors and directed plays for Polish television. She was elected chairwoman of the Board of the European Film Academy in 2014 and was elected as its President in 2021.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: European Film Academy Official site bio

Family (1)

Spouse Laco Adamik (? - ?)  (divorced)  (1 child)

Trivia (11)

Mother of storyboard artist/director Kasia Adamik, sister of director Magdalena Lazarkiewicz, sister-in-law of director Piotr Lazarkiewicz, aunt of composer Antoni Lazarkiewicz.
Considers feminism not a central topic in her work, although women always are important in her films.
Before martial law was declared in Poland, she had emigrated to France (1981).
Born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, she was raised a Catholic.
One of her unrealized projects has been the story of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto. The screenplay of the distinguished Polish writer Jerzy Stefan Stawinski was ready in 1981. Boguslaw Linda was planned for the main part. However, there was no political climate for the movie and therefore it has never been shot.
Studied at FAMU film school in Prague, then Czechoslovakia, now Czech Republic.
She was considered as possible director of The Butcher of Prague (2011), eventually directed by Petr Nikolaev.
She attracted international acclaim for her film Europa Europa about a European childs experiences during World War II,.
When she was growing up in Poland The Secret Garden was one of her favourite books.
When she was growing up in Polland The Secret Garden had been both her and her mother's,. favourite book so she had immediate attraction to direct the new film version of it,.
She attracted international acclaim for her film Europa, Europa.

Personal Quotes (6)

[on filmmakers who influenced her work] I think I was influenced by the Czech New Wave the most, especially Evald Schorm and Jan Nemec, Ivan Passer, and my professors were Karel Kachyna and Otakar Vávra. Schorm has also influenced me as a person. Their films still inspire me today. My cinema has always oscillated between Polish pathos and Czech civilness.
[on filmmaking in communism] Money was not so important then. It was a communist economy, so the money was not real, and we could take a long time in shooting a film, and we could build big sets. However, film stock had to be exported from the West, and we had to shoot a one-to-four ratio, which is nothing. It's a good lesson, however, because it teaches you how to edit the film in your head.[2015]
In 1976 Andrzej Wajda was the most talented director working in Poland, and he became head of a creative group that he called "X." After 1970, there was a liberalization, so he had a large degree of freedom of development, but (the shorts) still had to pass through official censorship and communist party censorship. Most of Wajda's contemporaries saw this as his project, and perhaps because of creative jealousy, they didn't want to be part of it. So except for one director, all of the others, including me, were recent film school graduates. (...) He was brave. He had a lot of problems, because none of my scripts could get passed by the censors. It was a good move to put my film among nine others. It made it more difficult to target me. Wajda was so committed to my well-being that he literally offered to adopt me, if needed.[2015]
I went to school in Prague because there was no chance for me to be accepted at Lodz [film school}. My father was a well-known Party member and journalist who had been arrested on false accusations, and committed suicide by jumping out of a window while in custody. His death was an important event. Also, at FAMU, I was politically engaged, and I was also arrested and sentenced. Then, around 1970, the situation improved in Poland and it became unbearable for me in Czechoslovakia.{2015}
[on Krzysztof Kieslowski] In 1974, we became close friends and began to creatively collaborate. He also tried several times to help me by petitioning for me to be accepted into Lodz, but it was too difficult. (...) He was already a person of great authority. Everyone looked up to him. But he was much more fun then. Success did not free him. He seemed to suffer under the weight of responsibility. We all knew that he was special, with a special eye and gift for directing.[2015]
[on casting Miroslav Krobot in Spoor (2017)] He's one of my favorite actors, not just Czech or Polish, but overall. Mirek's got a unique personality that I find not only appealing but different. It's so authentic, like he isn't even an actor at all. He also put in a tremendous amount of work to learn the dialogues in Polish, which really are not easy. Most people think it just comes to him naturally

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