LOS ANGELES - Oct 24, 2023 — The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has chosen director Agnieszka Holland as the recipient of this year’s Career Achievement Award.
LAFCA’s awards honoring the year’s best achievements in filmmaking will be decided by the membership on Sunday, December 10, 2023. Those winners will be honored alongside Holland at the organization’s awards event, to be held Saturday, January 13, 2024.
“Few directors have been as fearlessly confrontational with their historical gaze as Agnieszka Holland has across decades, and we’re thrilled to honor her this year,” said LAFCA president Robert Abele. “With moral clarity, deep empathy and invigorating filmmaking, her work lays bare the damage that oppressive regimes and sociopolitical conflicts wreak on everyday souls. At a time of increasing worldwide unrest, with authoritarianism on the rise, Holland’s fiercely humane films remind us history isn’t entirely behind us, and that a vibrantly political cinema is more vital now than ever.”
Raised in postwar Warsaw and a mentee of the great Polish director Andrzej Wajda, Holland has never shied away from telling complex, multilayered stories of individuals displaced and dispossessed in times of war, notably in her Oscar-nominated Holocaust dramas Angry Harvest (1985), Europa Europa (1990) and In Darkness (2011). But her career has spanned countries, eras, and dramatic multitudes, from intimate mysteries (Olivier, Olivier, 1992) and exquisite English-language literary adaptations (The Secret Garden, 1993; Washington Square, 1997) to wrenching spiritual inquiry (The Third Miracle, 1999) and even darkly expressive eco-fairy tale (Spoor, 2017). Her critique of political systems and focus on individual resistance have also been central to her remarkable television work, from her three-part HBO miniseries Burning Bush (2013) to episodes of The Wire and Treme.
Holland shows no signs of slowing down. Over 40 years after the radical roots of her earliest contributions to cinema — screenplays and features that went uncredited or were banned under Communist censorship laws — her filmmaking has again drawn both the wrath of the powerful in her home country and international acclaim. Her latest, Green Border (2023), an urgent dispatch from the frontlines of Eastern Europe’s refugee crisis, has become the target of vicious right-wing political attacks, while also winning Holland a special jury prize at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.