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Agnieszka Holland

Emigration experiences of Agnieszka Holland
Agnieszka Holland, photography by Grzegorz Press/Reporter

Agnieszka Holland was born on 28th November 1948 in Warsaw.
In 1971, she graduated from the faculty of film/TV studies at the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague. After returning to Poland she worked as an assistant director for Krzysztof Zanussi, she co-directed such films as: “Listy naszych czytelników” and “Zdjęcia próbne”. Her feature debut, “Aktorzy prowincjonalni” (“Provincial actors”) received the International Critics Prize at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

Due to the introduction of the martial law in Poland Agnieszka Holland decided to live and work in the West. She moved to Germany, France and later to the US. Her films won numerous awards both at Polish and foreign film festivals. The director received three Oscar award nominations. Since 2014, she has been chairwoman of the European Film Academy. Apart from film making, Agnieszka Holland also devoted herself to translating Czech literature into Polish, for instance: “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera.

Today, she shares her life between France and the US.

interview excerpts
Martial law observed from Sweden
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Uncertain beginning of emigration
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Travelling around Europe without a passport
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Pre-war Polish emigration
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The difficulty of expression in a new language
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Two Polish extremes
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