Films rarely run as deep as this long, dark night of the soul

This week The Model Cinema will be a treat for all lovers of film with the screening of Polish director, Agnieszka Holland’s, In Darkness (W ciemności) and * Once Upon a Time In Anatolia (Bir zamaniar Anadolu’da) by Turkish director, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s (pronounced ‘Bil-ger Jey-lan’). Both films have an impressive combined running time of 295 minutes (two and half hours each).

Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Film in 2012, In Darkness is a breathtaking yet harrowingly cramped vision of the Second World War, where a group of Jews hid for 14 months in the sewers of Lvov after the destruction of the ghetto. In Darkness is beautifully shot in between two contrasting worlds; the dark and claustrophobic sewers under the ghetto, and the grim reality of a daily struggle for survival in the Nazi-occupied city of Lvov. Thanks to cinematographer, Joanna Dylewska, the titular darkness becomes an effective metaphor for the fate of the Jewish people during the Holocaust.

Once Upon A Time Anatolia is a rigorous and beautifully captured murder mystery. Winner of the Grand Prix award at Cannes and nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or award. Film critic, Peter Bradshaw described it as, ‘an exhilarating masterpiece.’ Ceylan’s use of artificial light in the nocturnal scenes are Caravaggio-like in quality, with his painterly use of chiaroscuro, such as the scene where the …‘village is plunged into darkness by yet another power failure, the city folk are awestruck by the sight of the old man’s beautiful daughter as she gracefully serves them refreshments, with her face illuminated by the light from a lamp she’s carrying on a drinks tray. It’s one of those great cinematic moments; not only poetic and mysterious in its own right, it also points to the absence of women elsewhere in the film,’ Peter Walsh, Cinemas Manager, IFI.

Both films examine the darker sides of human nature and although Ceylan has noted in an interview that the, ‘the human face is the most beautiful landscape,’ it also, ‘tells you everything. It’s the only way to get to the truth because, most of the time, the words we say are not true. We have a tendency to deceive others to protect ourselves.’

Both films screen for only one week in The Model Cinema.
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In Darkness screens this Wed., Thurs. & Fri. at 6.15pm and Sunday 22 Apr. at 3.15pm. *Change in programme times, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia screens this Wed. & Thurs. at 8.45pm. Also screening at 6.15pm on Sunday Apr. 22.