Angry Harvest

Watch Angry Harvest

  • R
  • 1985
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • 7.1  (863)

Angry Harvest is a 1985 film directed by renowned Polish director Agnieszka Holland, starring Armin Mueller-Stahl, Elisabeth Trissenaar, and Wojciech Pszoniak. Set in Poland during the Second World War, the film tells the story of two unlikely lovers who must navigate their way through the devastating realities of war. The film opens with Leon Wolny (Mueller-Stahl), a Polish farmer, who has managed to evade being drafted into the German army. Instead, he continues to tend to his farm and keep his head down, hoping to avoid any further conflict. His quiet life is upended when he discovers a Jewish woman, Rosa (Trissenaar), hiding in the fields near his farm. Initially hesitant to help her, Leon eventually decides to take her in, hiding her in the attic of his farmhouse.

The film is a slow burn, building tension over time as Leon and Rosa begin to develop a relationship. Leon is a lonely man, his wife having passed away years ago and his only son now serving in the war. Rosa is cautious around him, understandably hesitant to trust a stranger in such difficult times. Still, the two forge a bond, with Leon bringing her food and offering comfort in whatever way he can.

As the war rages on, tensions continue to mount. The local police, led by the brutal and sadistic Hegedus (Pszoniak), are constantly on the prowl, looking for Jewish people to round up and send to the concentration camps. Leon must navigate a dangerous world, constantly balancing his desire to help Rosa with the need to keep himself and his family safe.

One of the most striking elements of Angry Harvest is its use of the Polish countryside as a backdrop. Holland's direction is masterful, capturing the beauty of the fields and forests and using this naturalistic setting to contrast with the atrocities of war. The film is filled with small, intimate moments, adding depth and nuance to the characters and their relationships.

Mueller-Stahl delivers a powerful performance as Leon, imbuing the character with a quiet strength and dignity. He is a man who has seen much in his life and has little to gain from helping Rosa, and yet he still does. Trissenaar is equally excellent as Rosa, a woman who must balance her fear and trauma with a growing affection for the man who has offered her sanctuary.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the film, however, is its refusal to simplify the morality of its characters. Leon is not a perfect hero, and Hegedus is not a caricature of evil. Rather, the film shows the complexities of human behavior in times of war, the moral compromises that must be made to survive, and the often-futile attempts to hold on to one's sense of decency.

Angry Harvest is not an easy film, nor should it be. It is a story about the difficult choices people must make when faced with unimaginable horror, and the toll it takes on them. It is about the power of human connection, and the hope that can be found even in the darkest of times. It is a film that demands to be seen, and one that will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Angry Harvest
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 45 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (863)