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Gian Maria Volonté,
A Jewish ghetto in the east of Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central Europe. In order to keep his companion in misfortune, Mischa, from risking his life for a few potatoes, he tells him what he heard and announces that he is in possession of a radio - in the ghetto a crime punishable by death. It doesn't take long for word of Jakob's secret to spread - suddenly, there is new hope and something to live for - and so Jakob finds himself in the uncomforting position of having to come up with more and more stories. Written by
Henry Hübchen was cast as Mischa only days before filming began - since Frank Beyer had to find replacement for Polish actors who were denied taking part in the film by the Polish government. See more »
I just wanted to say to you... I mean... you know... We're all here... I wanted to ask you and your wife, of course...
Speak freely, you're not asking for my hand, are you?
I'm asking for Rosa's.
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I liked this movie, and I think it had good lessons to learn from. I liked Lena's character. She was completely innocent throughout the entire movie, and I felt that she showed not everyone had lost hope during the time. Even at the end, she was excited that they were going away, and she had no clue where. She was just being a kid, and going anywhere is exciting when you are young. Jacob starting telling stories about the Russians and other things he knew about the war. The reality was that he knew nothing more than anyone else. In a way, it did help the people's spirits though. But in the end, everyone was unhappy because their optimism was crushed with the sign that said everyone was to gather together with less than 5 kilos in luggage so they could `go away'.
I think my favorite scene was when the old man thought he heard voices in the freight car. While I was watching the movie, I thought he was crazy and apparently so did everyone else. They all thought he was just hearing things that weren't there. The reality was that there was someone in the car, but they never showed who and a guard shot the old man before he could tell anyone. The scene sparked my curiosity on who it was exactly in the car and why that person was being held in there, or if they were being held in the at all.
The whole radio lie caused a lot of problems in the movie, and that's why I said above that there were some good lessons to be learned in the movie. One lie sparked another for him, and that got him in deeper into his stories until so many people were asking about the radio that he just couldn't make anything else up and he finally told his friend. Surprisingly enough, the friend took the news very well. In a way, it almost seemed like he was expecting it all along. The movie shows that lying for whatever cause is never a good cause no matter how much you think it may help the situation. The lies turned everyone against him in the end, and they all ended up the same way anyhow unfortunately. Although this wasn't my favorite movie in class so far, I did enjoy watching it, and it kept my attention throughout the story.
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