Imagine a man who is a cross between George Orwell and Harry Potter. That would be Gareth Jones (James Norton), a real person and the title character in a film by Agnieszka Holland that was presented at this year’s Berlinale. The director sees the Welsh journalist as a noble and modest idealist who will do anything to discover even the most inconvenient facts about the world around him. In Mr. Jones, the title character decides to share with the Western public the truth about the reality of life in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Instead of having the impact he expected, the reports by Jones—one of the few foreigners observing the effects of the Holodomor in Ukraine—lead to serious trouble for the journalist. As is usually the case in Holland’s films, the conventions of historical cinema are used as a pretext in Mr. Jones for a penetrating reflection on the present day. The story of a Welsh reporter from the 1930s is depressingly relevant today at a time of crisis for independent journalism and the growing popularity of fake news.
Born in Warsaw in 1948, Agnieszka Holland is a film director and screenwriter. She is one of the leading figures in European and world cinema. At the beginning of her career, she was considered one of the creators of “cinema of moral anxiety.” In addition to films, she has also directed episodes for television series (including House of Cards, The Wire and Treme). Winner of a Silver Bear in Berlin (for her 2017 film Spoor) and many other prestigious film awards. She has chaired the board of the European Film Academy in Berlin since January 2014.
1981 Kobieta samotna / A Lonely Woman
1990 Europa, Europa
1995 Całkowite zaćmienie / Total Eclipse
2002 Julia wraca do domu / Julie Walking Home
2011 W ciemności / In Darkness