Truth and Fictions
Photo by Robert Pałka

Truth and Fictions

An Interview with Agnieszka Holland
Mateusz Demski
time 10 minutes

“I believe that people of this kind, people who are incompatible with a given political regime, but simultaneously have the courage to sound the alarm, regardless of the pressure and dangers they might face, can change the world. Still, remain pessimistic,” says Agnieszka Holland, whose latest film, Mr. Jones, opened the 44th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.

Mateusz Demski: The 1930s. A Welsh journalist, Gareth Jones, travels to Moscow and further onto Kharkov. He sees the consequences of the Great Famine and decides to reveal the truth to the world. Meanwhile, Soviet propaganda censors all information from the affected areas, falsifies official historiography; all the while, the West turns a blind eye to avoid conflict with Moscow. Unfortunately, this sounds familiar. I would venture to say that it sounds almost contemporary.

Agnieszka Holland: Of course one cannot compare the 1930s and the contemporary moment, but more and more often we can see some analogies. The world, swept away by authoritarian populism, is turning its back on democracy. Propaganda mechanisms work in a similar way, except now we have a new element, i.e. the internet revolution, which is comparable – in my opinion – to the invention of the printing press or the great Industrial


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