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Somewhat fictionalized account of the destruction of the village of Lidice in Czechoslovakia and the events leading up to it. In 1942, the Allies parachuted a Czech resistance fighter into the area. He quickly reunites with his former girlfriend and many of the villagers who knew him from before the war. The Nazis are evil however and under the command of Reinhardt Heydrich rule the country with an iron fist, arbitrarily arresting innocents and charging them with fictitious crimes. When Heydrich is severely wounded in a roadside attack - he dies three days later - Henrich Himmler orders the destruction of Lidice. The men are herded into a church which is set aflame and the women are sent to concentration camps. The town itself is leveled. Written by
As poetically dark as the poem recited throughout, this is a motion picture that should be studied and reflected upon for many generations to come. We must never forget. Lidice by Edna St. Vincent Millay is powerfully incorporated into the drama as the assassination of the brutal monster, Reinhard Heydrich is recounted and the subsequent murderous destruction of the town of Lidice exposed. The diabolical evilness of Heydrich is blood chillingly brought to the screen by director Douglas Sirk in his first Hollywood film after fleeing the Nazis himself. While the use of the stunning poem and the direction are superb, no film or actor could possibly convey what happened during this time and do justice to its under barbarous criminality and hellishness. This film is indeed a sincere and moving attempt to do so and while doomed to failure by the enormity of the horror it must bring to the screen, it succeeds in bringing the tragic story of Lidice's destruction to a wide audience. However, neither that terrible event nor the sickening, pure evil of Heydrich and the Nazis can ever be captured on celluloid.
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