Agnieszka Holland is a Polish-French film director and screenwriter, renowned for her political contributions to Polish New Wave cinema. Despite starting her career working in Poland as an assistant to Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrej Wajda, she left the country shortly before the introduction of martial law in 1981, moving to France, where she has remained till the present day.
Holland has directed more than twenty films, including Europa, Europa (1991), Total Eclipse (1995) and Washington Square (1997). In 2010, Holland was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Directing for a drama series category for her work on HBO’s Treme (2010). Her films Angry Harvest (1985) and In Darkness (2011) were also both nominated for Oscars in the category of Best Foreign Film, while Europa, Europa (1990) was put forward in the category of Best Screenplay based on previously published material. Her films have also won countless other awards around the world, such as the Polish/Gdynia Film Festival’s Golden Lion and the Czech Film and Television Academy’s Czech Lion. Viewers of popular TV series will know Agnieszka not just for her work on Treme, but also as one of the directors of the House of Cards series. Agnieszka Holland is also currently the chair of the European Film Academy board.
Know for her politicised early films, Agnieszka says of her work: “People think all my recent movies should be as political as some of my earlier films, but I was never interested in politics, only what is going on between and within people, not so much what is happening outside of them. In that sense, I guess you could say that all my movies are political, or they are not. Reality is not found in the workings of ideologies and public institutions but in the people living and working within them. In a society where there are these sharp divisions between personal and public life, people start to think they don’t count anymore. Their curiosity is shrinking. And that’s dangerous. We become less and less interested in other points of view. The rest of the world seems to disappear for us” (John C. Tibbetts (2008): “An Interview with Agnieszka Holland: The Politics of Ambiguity”, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 25:2, 132-143).
Information valid as of spring 2016.