In March 1933, Welsh journalist Gareth Jones takes a train from Moscow to Kharkov in the Ukraine. He disembarks at a small station and sets off on foot on a journey through the country where he experiences at first hand the horrors of a famine. Everywhere there are dead people, and everywhere he goes he meets henchmen of the Soviet secret service who are determined to prevent news about the catastrophe from getting out to the general public. Stalin’s forced collectivisation of agriculture has resulted in misery and ruin; the policy is tantamount to mass murder. Supported by Ada Brooks, a New York Times reporter, Jones succeeds in spreading the shocking news in the West, thereby putting his powerful rival, the Pulitzer Prize-winning, pro-Stalin journalist Walter Duranty, firmly in his place.
Shot in Poland, Scotland and in original locations in the Ukraine, Agnieszka Holland’s film recalls the legendary journalist Gareth Jones (1905-1935) who, despite fierce resistance, could not be dissuaded from telling the truth. Jones’s encounter with the young George Orwell is said to have inspired the latter’s dystopian parable ‘Animal Farm’ (1945).
by Agnieszka Holland
with James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard, Joseph Mawle, Fenella Woolgar
Poland / United Kingdom / Ukraine 2019 English,  Ukrainian,  Russian,  Welsh,  Subtitles: German,  English 141’ Colour World premiere


  • James Norton (Gareth Jones)
  • Vanessa Kirby (Ada Brooks)
  • Peter Sarsgaard (Walter Duranty)
  • Joseph Mawle (George Orwell)
  • Fenella Woolgar (Miss Stevenson)
  • Kenneth Cranham (Lloyd George)
  • Celyn Jones (Matthew)
  • Krzysztof Pieczyński (Maxim Litvinow)
  • Michalina Olszańska (Yulia)
  • Patricia Volny (Bonnie)


DirectorAgnieszka Holland
ScreenplayAndrea Chalupa
CinematographyTomasz Naumiuk
EditingMichał Czarnecki
MusicAntoni Komasa-Łazarkiewicz
Sound DesignWojciech Mielimąka
SoundMarcin Matlak
Production DesignGrzegorz Piątkowski
CostumesAleksandra Staszko
Make-upJanusz Kaleja
Assistant DirectorJan Mensik
CastingColin Jones
Line ProducerBogna Szewczyk
Production ManagerTomasz Morawski
ProducersKlaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska, Stanisław Dziedzic, Andrea Chalupa
Co-producersAngus Lamont, Egor Olesov
Executive ProducerLeah Temerty-Lord
Co-productionCrab Apple, Glasgow
Film UA, Kiew

Produced by

Film Produkcja / in association with NEM Corp

Warschau, Poland

World sales

WestEnd Films

London, United Kingdom

+44 207 4948300

Agnieszka Holland

Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1948, she graduated from the FAMU film school in Prague and began her career assisting Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda. She collaborated with Krzysztof Kieślowski on the screenplay of his trilogy, Three Colors. Her film Gorączka screened in Competition at the Berlinale in 1981, the year in which she emigrated to Paris. Since then she has made over 30 films, winning awards including the Golden Globe and a Berlinale Silver Bear, and being nominated for a BAFTA and an Emmy. Her films In Darkness, Europa Europa and Angry Harvest were all nominated for an Academy Award.

Filmography (selection)

1979 Aktorzy prowincjonalni (Provinzschauspieler) 1981 Gorączka (Fieber) · Kobieta samotna (Eine alleinstehende Frau) 1985 Bittere Ernte (Angry Harvest) 1988 To Kill a Priest (Der Priestermord) 1990 Hitlerjunge Salomon (Europa, Europa) 1991 Largo Desolato 1992 Olivier, Olivier 1993 The Secret Garden (Der geheime Garten) 1995 Total Eclipse 1997 Washington Square 1999 The Third Miracle (Das dritte Wunder) 2002 Julie Walking Home 2006 Copying Beethoven (Klang der Stille) 2009 Janosik. Prawdziwa Historia (Janosik. The Real Story) 2011 In Darkness 2015 House of Cards; TV series, 2 episodes 2017 Pokot (Spoor) 2019 Mr. Jones

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019


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