Polish director and screenwriter characterized by an extraordinary ability to combine the culture and style acquired in the heart of Eastern Europe with an authentically stateless cinema, Agnieszka Holland (Warsaw, 28 November 1948) is a key gure in the expression of the craving for freedom of that cinema stemming from the historical and artistic developments occurred in post-war Europe. In terms of political identity, she was in uenced by the political struggles taking place all over the iron curtain countries, while her main inspiration as a lmmaker were European “nouvelle vague” lms. Agnieszka Holland’s identity as a director results from the encounter between her experiences within the Polish cinema of the Third Generation and that of the Prague Film School, where she completed her studies. The daughter of a catholic mother and a Jewish father, Holland grew up without a speci c religious orientation, in a family committed to the political struggle against the Stalinist regime. The (deeply suspicious) death of her father during a police interrogation led Agnieszka Holland to move to Czechoslovakia with her family. Here, after entering the famous FAMU lm school (where she studied with Miloš Forman and Ivan Passer), she grew artistically in the middle of the Nová Vlna, the “new wave” of Czechslovak cinema of the 1960s, and took part in the Prague Spring. She was arrested as a dissident and then freed. After graduating from FAMU in 1971, Agnieszka Holland came back to Warsaw, where she came into con ict with Andrzej Wajda’s organization (she was then collaborating with him as a screenwriter) and began to work as an assistant for Krzysztof Zanussi on the set of Illumination. After taking part in the making of the anthology lm Zdjecia próbne (Screen Tests, 1977), in 1979 Holland made her feature lm debut with Provincial Actors (Aktorzy prowincjonalni), where she expressed, through the story of a small theatre company, the frustrations of a repressed society. The lm earned her the FIPRESCI Award at the Cannes Film Festival. The contradictions of History are well expressed in her following lm Gorączka (Fever, 1981), set in 1905 in a divided Poland and relating the vicissitudes of a hesitant group of anarchists engaged in the planning of a terrorist attack. The somberness of life in Poland was vibrantly represented in Kobieta samotna (A Lonely Woman), the bitter portrayal of a postwoman facing the di culties and limitations of everyday life. The lm was made in 1981, but following the coup d’état of 13 December, it could not be released until 1987. Already abroad at the time, the director chose to exile herself from homeland, going to live in Paris and starting a new phase, in which she came to embrace a much more universal perspective. In 1985 she realized in Austria Angry Harvest, the story of a Jewish woman eeing from the Nazis, which earned her a nomination to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, followed in 1988 by To Kill a Priest, in which she reconstructed the story of Father Popiełuszko, the priest close to Solidarność, killed in 1984. The complex relationship between identity and truth in the objective de nition of Man is at the heart of her following two lms, for which she gained international attention: Europa Europa (1990, winner of a Golden Globe and Oscar nominated for Best Screenplay) tells the story of a German Jewish boy who, to escape persecution, pretends to be rst a Stalinist and then a Nazi, while Olivier, Olivier (1992) relates the drama of a mother faced with the illusory joy of reuniting with her long-lost son. With the following The Secret Garden (1993) Holland (called by Coppola, producer of the lm) made her American debut, telling the story of a childhood spent between reality and fantasy, adapted from the novel by the writer F. H. Burnett. In 1995 the lmmaker came back to Europe to direct Total Eclipse, in which she entrusted a very young Leonardo Di Caprio with the role of Arthur Rimbaud in the description of his devastating relationship with Paul Verlaine. In the same year she directed an episode of the TV series Fallen Angels, which marked the beginning of an intense activity in the world of US and European TV series (she directed episodes of, among others, The Wire, 2004, Cold Case, 2004, and House of Cards, 2015). In 1997, after moving to the United States, Holland gave a demonstration of her artistic maturity with an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Henry James Washington Square, followed in 1999 by The Third Miracle, where she questions the role of spirituality in modern society, a theme also present in her following work Julie Walking Home (2002). In 2006, with Copying Beethoven, she once again described the biographical aspects of creativity, while in 2009 she lmed in Poland, together with her daughter Kasia Adamik, Janosik. Prawdziwa historia (Janosik: A True Story), about the deeds of a Polish bandit of the eighteenth century. In 2017 Agnieszka Holland won the Silver Bear (Alfred Bauer Award) at the 67th Berlinale with Pokot (Spoor, in collaboration with her daughter Kasia Adamik), the portrayal of an old woman who enters into con ict with the hunters of her mountain community.


A lonely woman

Agnieszka Holland 1987 – 35mm – color - 92’


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Europa Europa

Agnieszka Holland 1990 – 35mm – color - 112’


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Agnieszka Holland 1981 – 35mm – color - 116’


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In darkness

Agnieszka Holland 2011 – 35mm – color - 145’


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Olivier, Olivier

Agnieszka Holland 1992 – 35mm – color - 110’


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Provincial Actors

Agnieszka Holland 1979 – 35mm – color - 108’


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Agnieszka Holland in collaboration with Kasia Adamik 2017 – 35mm – color - 128’


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The secret garden

Agnieszka Holland 1993 – 35mm – color - 101’


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Total eclipse

Agnieszka Holland 1995 – 35mm – color - 111’


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Washington Square

Agnieszka Holland 1997 – 35mm – color - 115’


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