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Cinema program "Mr. Jones" in Kraków
Original title: Mr. Jones
Runtime: 120 min.
Production: Polska/Wlk. Brytania/Ukraina , 2019
Release Date: 25 October 2019
Distribution: Kino Świat
Directed by: Agnieszka Holland
Cast: Vanessa Kirby, James Norton, Peter Sarsgaard
Awarded with the Golden Lions in Gdynia, Agnieszka Holland's latest film, the political thriller "Citizen Jones" is one of the most awaited premieres of 2019. In the international cast, rising foreign stars, including James Norton ("Race", "War and Peace", "Line of Life"), Vanessa Kirby ("Time for Love", the series "The Crown", "Mission: Impossible - Fallout") and nominated for the Golden Globe - Peter Sarsgaard ("Jackie", "Magnificent Seven", "Blue Jasmine"). The film presents the story of Gareth Jones - a Welsh journalist who set off in 1933 to the Soviet Union to discover the terrifying truth behind Stalin's regime and the Soviet "utopia". The backstage of his reporter investigation had fatal repercussions, and at the same time became an inspiration for the creation of one of the most famous novels of the twentieth century - "Animal Farm" by George Orwell.
The young journalist Gareth Jones (James Norton) gained fame by writing an article about his meeting with Adolf Hitler, immediately after he took power in 1933. Now the ambitious Welshman is preparing for another big topic - the rapid modernization of the Soviet Union. To investigate the matter thoroughly, the reporter decides to travel to Moscow to interview Stalin. On the spot he meets a young journalist Ada Brooks (Vanessa Kirby), working for Walter Duranty (Peter Sarsgaard), thanks to whom he discovers that the truth about the Stalinist regime is brutally suppressed by Soviet censors. Hearing alarming rumors about the great famine in the USSR, Jones goes on a lonely journey through Ukraine. The journalist becomes an eyewitness to the Holodomor tragedy. Millions of people are starving, while tons of grain are sold abroad to finance the industrialization of the Soviet empire. After returning to London, Jones writes an article showing the horror he experienced. The publication is muted and its authenticity undermined by Western journalists who are influenced by the Kremlin. Despite the deadly threats, Gareth continues to fight for the truth. He decides to share his discoveries with a young, aspiring writer - George Orwell.
The script of the film in an artistic and original way touches on issues that, despite the passage of years, have not lost their relevance. Their binder is "Animal Farm" - a famous novel by George Orwell. It reveals the mechanisms of totalitarian terror, which can be combated only through active resistance to lies and violence. Our hero, Gareth Jones, is involved in a mission that brutally confronts his youthful courage and idealism with reality. In the world of Western correspondents in Moscow, no one like him wants to shed light on Stalin's atrocities and no one, like him, is exposed to them - says Agnieszka Holland. - Today, we do not lack corrupt conformists and egoists. However, we miss the Orwells and Jones. That is why we should bring them back to life.
The main part of the photos began on March 3, 2018 in Ukraine, exactly on the 85th anniversary of Gareth Jones' historical trip to Ukraine in 1933. The journalist was an eyewitness to the great famine in Ukraine as a consequence of Stalin's ruthless policy. Jones's testimony became an extremely valuable, independent source of information about the deliberate genocide that claimed millions of victims and was carefully hidden by Kremlin propaganda. Jones's detailed reports have become the basis for many historians, including Timothy Snyder, author of The Bloody Lands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, who is Holland's historical consultant on the film.
Film scenes of famine were shot in Ukraine in extremely difficult weather conditions. Other photos were continued in Poland: in Warsaw, Katowice, Sosnowiec, Krakow and other regions of Lesser Poland, as well as in Scotland: in Edinburgh, Anstruther, Leven and St Andrews. For the first time on the set in Poland met the recognized international stars: James Norton, Vanessa Kirby and Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Walter Duranty, who favors the Soviet regime and consistently denied the reports of Gareth Jones. The role of George Orwell is played by Joseph Mawle ("Game of Thrones"), while the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Lloyd George, is played by Kenneth Cranham ("The Witch", "Valkyrie"). The cast is complemented by Krzysztof Pieczyński ("Jack Strong", "Blood of God", "Seed of truth"), Michalina Olszańska ("Me, Olga Hepnarova", "Daughters of Dancer"), Beata Poźniak ("People on the Bridge", "Officer's Wife "), Patrycja Volny (" Pokot "," Kurier ") and Wojciech Urbański (" Grain of truth "," Pod Mocnym Aniołem ").
The script writer is American journalist Andrea Chalupa, whose texts appear, among others in the "Huffington Post". Tomasz Naumiuk ("Amok", "Nina") is responsible for the photos. The scenery was created by Grzegorz Piątkowski ("Miasto 44", "Mission Afghanistan"), and costumes by Aleksander Staszko ("Ida", "Demon", "Imagine"). The director of the second unit is Olga Chajdas, Colin Jones (47 Meters Down, Love & Friendship) and Magda Szwarcbart are responsible for directing the casting. The music for the film was composed by Antoni Komasa Łazarkiewicz ("In Darkness", "Pokot").
The picture is a Polish-British-Ukrainian co-production. The film was produced by FILM PRODUKCJA and Parkhurst. The film's producers are Andrea Chalupa, Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska and Stanisław Dziedzic. The film was made with the financial support of the Polish Film Institute, Ukrainian State Film Agency and Creative Scotland. The co-producers include ORKA Production Studio, Kino Świat, Krakow Festival Office and Silesia Film, also the Scottish producer Angus Lamont from Jones Boy Films and the Ukrainian producer Egor Olesov from KINOROB. Kino Świat is responsible for distribution in Poland. Foreign sales agent are WestEnd Films and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. "Citizen Jones" as one of 19 films was presented in the Main Competition of the 44th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. By the decision of the competition jury he was awarded the Golden Lions, the most important Polish film awards. In addition, the picture was appreciated for the scenery of Grzegorz Piątkowski.
Movie trailer: Mr. Jones