I woke up this morning to the news of the Oscar-nominations. Normally I don’t follow them very closely. This time I did.
Why? Because I had the opportunity earlier this week to watch the Polish “In Darkness”, directed by Agnieszka Holland, telling the true story of a Pole in Lwow saving a group of Jews in the sewage pipe system during the Second World War. Doing this initially for money but step by step changing, transforming into another person.
Now “In Darkness” is one out of five nominees for the category Best foreign language film. It certainly should be. Even more, I sincerely hope it will win.
Again why? Because it is an absolutely remarkable film in all aspects I can think of. The actors. Photography. The story. The horrible reality behind the story. And the nuances in human behaviour being captured with very small means.
Not simply heroes but individuals, ordinary human beings acting in circumstances that are almost impossible to grasp. The challenging questions are never formulated on the screen but just appear in my mind. What if? What if it had been me and us and my family and my life and my risktaking?
I have met several human rights defenders in my professional life. It is one of the privileges of this job. And one of the professional duties for a person like me. To be able to convey all the support my country can give, everything I and we can do.
I am constantly moved by the courage they show. And many of them trigger, in my mind, the same kind of question? What if I had been in that same situation?
The key personality in this story, Leopold Socha, never imagined he would end up as he did. The delicate way of describing this gradual change in his character is one the many remarkable qualities of this film.
This year 2012 it is one hundred years since the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was born. Wallenberg who managed to save tens of thousands of Jewish lives in Budapest and then disappearing in Soviet captivity.
His deeds show to us what could be achieved by courageous individuals by just doing what is right. Human beings shouldering the individual responsibility for others.
A lesson learned also when you watch “In Darkness”. So please do.