21 May 2014 3:40 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Why bother updating a good movie? Michel Hazanavicius' "The Search" implicitly asks this question and never finds a sufficient answer. Fred Zinneman's 1948 drama revolved around the plight of a child concentration camp survivor separated from his mother in postwar Berlin and aided by a benevolent American private memorably portrayed by Montgomery Clift. In his 2014 remake, "The Artist" director Hazanvicius upgrades the story to Second Chechen War in 1999, swapping the Clift role for a Human Rights Committee representative played by Hazanvicius muse Berenice Bejo. Instead of a mother searching for her son, young Chechen refugee Hadji (Abduel Khalim Mamutsiev) winds up being cared for by Carole (Bejo) while his older sister Raissa (Zukhra Duishvili) follows his trail after Russian soldiers murder their parents. Hazanvicius, who also wrote the screenplay, compounds these ingredients with a separate narrative involving the experiences of a young Russian named Kolia (Maksim Emelyanov) »

- Eric Kohn

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