Stationed in a Bulgarian village in 1943, Walter, an artist and corporal in the Wehrmacht, lives an almost idyllic life far away from the war. Then, a transit camp is set up for Jews arriving from Greece and awaiting transport to Auschwitz. Written by
I saw this modest yet powerful film at Occidental College over a decade ago. There were only about two dozen people in the small classroom. There couldn't be a greater contrast with Hollywood's blockbusters. Instead of tormenting us with the horrors of war, this small screen, black and white film envelops us in a cozy intimacy and tries to reach for our deepest humanity and sense of poetry. We get the feeling that war is above all a profound shame, and that everyone is human. That's much more powerful than seeing a lot of combat footage. Small films like this do not even register on the radar of a jaded public. If they are not promoted by discerning people, they will fade into oblivion. Ironically, the most tragic thing about this film, is that it fails to make an impact. Don't you believe that the cream always rises to the top.
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