first gained notoriety in her native country as part of the Polish New Wave of filmmakers. She began her career working with such master filmmakers as Krzysztof Zanussi
as assistant director and Andrzej Wajda
as her mentor. She wrote several scripts with Wajda before directing her own films, which were soon winning awards at festivals. She first came to acclaim in the United States for her Oscarnominated Angry Harvest, a World War II drama about a Polish farmer who shelters a Jewish refugee. She went on to make her English-language debut with To Kill a Priest which starred Ed Harris
and Christopher Lambert
in the story of a priest being pursued by the Polish Secret Police.
Holland's next film, Europa, Europa, has become a wartime classic, the harrowing yet humor-tinged story of a Jewish boy drafted into Hitler's army. The film garnered Holland an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film, a British Academy Award nomination for Best Film as well as Best Foreign Film Awards from the National Board of Review and The New York Film Critics Circle.
This was followed by the critically acclaimed French film Oliver, Olivier, the eerie tale of a disappeared child who returns to his family an entirely different person; and the family classic The Secret Garden, based on the beloved Francis Hodgson Burnett novel. In 1994 she directed Red Wind in the United States, a thriller for television produced by Sydney Pollack as part of the celebrated noir series Fallen Angels. A year later she made Total Eclipse staffing Leonardo DiCaprio as the poet Arthur Rimbaud. She most recently directed the 1997 adaptation of Henry James' Washington Square in the United States, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Albert Finney.
Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.
Agnieszka Holland Facts
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