Leopold Socha (Wieckiewicz) is a Polish Catholic sewer worker in the Nazi-occupied city of Lvov. Anti-semitic and opportunistic, he steals from deserted Jewish homes and sells his contraband. When he discovers a group of Jews trying to escape the liquidation of the ghetto by taking to the sewers, he offers to hide them — for a price. He helps a small group survive for 14 months, including Mr. and Mrs. Chiger (Knaup and Schrader), Mundek (Furmann), and Klara (Grochowska). Initially driven by a desire for profit despite the huge risks to his wife (Preis) and family, he slowly has a change of heart and stops at nothing to keep Socha's Jews alive.
Holland's adaptation of Robert Marshall's book "In The Sewers Of Lvov" is a worthy addition to the pantheon of Holocaust cinema. Out of the chaotic early scenes and the darkness of the underground locations, distinct characters emerge, most notably, the conflicted Socha, whose transformation is both gradual and credible. Without resorting to melodrama, Holland shows how the human spirit endures in unimaginable circumstances. Oscar-nominated for best foreign film but largely dismissed by critics, we're proud to endorse this harrowing, uplifting true story. Watch it, and see the light.