40 Facts About Agnieszka Holland


Agnieszka Holland was born on 28 November 1948 and is a Polish film and television director and screenwriter, best known for her political contributions to Polish cinema.


Agnieszka Holland began her career as assistant to directors Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, and emigrated to France shortly before the 1981 imposition of the martial law in Poland.


Agnieszka Holland is the daughter of journalists Irena and Henryk Holland, who was a prominent Communist activist since 1935 and a captain of the Polish Army.


Agnieszka Holland's mother was Roman Catholic and her father Jewish, but she was not brought up in either faith.


Agnieszka Holland's father was an ardent Communist journalist whose publications against a number of prominent professors led to their dismissals by the Communist regime.


Agnieszka Holland's mother participated in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising as a member of the Polish resistance movement.


Agnieszka Holland was often ill as a child, and spent much of her time writing, drawing and directing short plays with other children.

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Agnieszka Holland describes her relationship with her father as influential, but very distant.


Agnieszka Holland recalls being shown off to her father's friends during late night gatherings, and then being ignored in the morning when he was no longer entertaining.


Agnieszka Holland attended the Stefan Batory Gymnasium and Lyceum in Warsaw.


Agnieszka Holland witnessed the Prague Spring of 1968 while in Czechoslovakia, and was arrested for her support of the dissident movement for the government reforms and political liberalization.


Agnieszka Holland returned to Poland and wrote her first screenplay.


The events and confusing identities that made up her childhood resulted in Agnieszka Holland being known to have a significant struggle with identity, which manifests itself in many of her most famous films, specifically those related to Polish-Jewish interactions during the Holocaust.


Agnieszka Holland's widely acclaimed film Europa, Europa brought her success and recognition in Hollywood, but she has always and still faces trouble in her career and life due to her past.


Agnieszka Holland began her career as an assistant director for Polish film directors Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda.


Agnieszka Holland's credits include Zanussi's 1973 film, Iluminacja, and Wajda's 1983 film, Danton.


Agnieszka Holland was first assistant director on Wajda's 1976 Man of Marble, an experience which gave her the capability to explore political and moral issues within the confines of an oppressive regime.


Agnieszka Holland's first major film was Provincial Actors, a 1978 chronicle of tense backstage relations within a small-town theater company which was an allegory of Poland's contemporary political situation.


Agnieszka Holland directed two more major films in Poland, Fever and A Lonely Woman in 1981, before immigrating to France shortly before the December 1981 imposition of martial law in Poland.


Agnieszka Holland was told that she could not return to Poland, and was unable to see or even have any contact with her daughter for over eight months.


Agnieszka Holland developed her own projects with Western European production companies, directing Angry Harvest, To Kill a Priest and Olivier, Olivier.


Agnieszka Holland received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film for Angry Harvest, a West German production about a Jewish woman on the run during World War II.


Almost twenty years later, Agnieszka Holland released In Darkness, a German-Canadian-Polish co production that dramatized the story of a Polish sewage worker who aided a group of Jewish refugees by hiding them in the sewers of Lwow during the time when Jewish people in the city were being sent to extermination camps.


Until her successful 1991 film Europa, Europa, Agnieszka Holland was barely recognized as an acclaimed filmmaker in Hollywood.


Agnieszka Holland's chance came about because of a roller coaster ride with the future producer of her American debut Artur Brauner.

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Agnieszka Holland had been treated to a day at Disneyland by the American Academy when she was in the running as a nominee for a foreign Oscar for her film Angry Harvest.


Agnieszka Holland suggested that when she was making films in Poland under the Communist regime, there was an atmosphere of cross-gender solidarity against censorship.


Agnieszka Holland suggests that this results in what she calls a "numbness" and "conventionalization" of contemporary cinema.


In 2003, Agnieszka Holland was a member of the jury at the 25th Moscow International Film Festival.


In 2006, Agnieszka Holland returned to direct the eighth episode of the fourth season.


Agnieszka Holland accepted an offer to film a three-part drama for HBO about Jan Palach, who immolated himself in January 1969 to protest "normalization" after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968.


Agnieszka Holland won the Czech Lion Award in the Best Director category for this TV series.


On 1 December 2013, the film screened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, where Agnieszka Holland was invited to deliver the Rajiv Vaidya Memorial Lecture: Viewing History through the Filmmaker's Lens.


In December 2013, Agnieszka Holland was announced as director of NBC's next miniseries Rosemary's Baby, a two-part version of the best selling novel by Ira Levin with Zoe Saldana.


Agnieszka Holland took over the chairmanship of the European Film Academy board in January 2014.


In March 2016, it was announced that Agnieszka Holland is set to direct an adaptation of Peter Swanson's best-selling novel The Kind Worth Killing, a psychological thriller about a ruthless female killer.


In February 2017, Agnieszka Holland received The Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for Spoor.


Agnieszka Holland translated from Czech to Polish the novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being.


Agnieszka Holland volunteered for this task after meeting the author, Milan Kundera, in 1982, and reading the manuscript; both were living in Paris at that time.


Agnieszka Holland found the events of the book relatable not only to her personal experience of the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia but to the strikes of 1980 in Poland, and therefore wanted to introduce the book to the Polish audience.