Agnieszka Holland: “Nowadays it’s more difficult to be a great director than in the 60s”
On July 21 at OIFF, the participants of the Summer Film School met with the Chairwoman of the European Film Academy, three-time Oscar nominee, winner of the Silver Bear of Berlinale-2017, famous Polish director Agnieszka Holland

“My film “Spoor” is an adaptation of the novel by the famous Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, most of whose works are rather complicated. We have long wanted to make a film based on her writing, and this novel seemed an easy enough fit. In the process of filming, I realized that this film presents a stylistic challenge for me. This is not a story that can be described in several words, the work even in terms of genre does not lend itself to any classification.”

“We had a problem with financing. I knew that the film was not very expensive, but still more expensive than the usual modern Polish film. Every time we pitched it, not everyone could understand what kind of movie it was and what it was about. Therefore, I came up with one sentence, which, it seems to me, very correctly describes it: “This is an anarchistic, feminist film with elements of black humour and fairy tales.”

“Nowadays it is more difficult to be a great director than in the 60s. They survived the Second World War, communism. They witnessed great history that shaped their character and vision of the world. In my and the subsequent generations, there are a lot of talented people, but they do not have any topics. They are little bourgeoisie, spoiled children. I don’t think that it is necessary to survive a tragedy in order to create something meaningful. But sometimes you need to feel that you are a part of something.”

“I made three films about the Holocaust. I dedicated a lot of time to that reality, probably even more than World War II itself lasted. Of course, it changed my vision of the world. Why did I want to tell you this? When I shoot historical films, I do it in order to draw some sort of a scoreboard of the past, but I do that only when I feel that it’s appropriate.”

“Once I watched the crowd in the cinema during the screening of my film. I wondered how many people there really share my sensuality, my intelligence, my moral postulates? I thought, 30 or 40 percent – no more, because you cannot please everyone, and it’s not really necessary. It’s not the approach of big-budget films, which must appeal to everybody. Such films rarely have any great significance, but many people like them.”

“When I'm making a film, I want to awaken some real emotions in people, because for me the most important thing is the audience. I also want the recognition of the film at the level of criticism and at the festival level, so that not only the audience, but also my colleagues are inspired by my work.”