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A Jewish boy, separated from his family in the early days of WWII, poses as a German orphan and is thereafter taken into the heart of the Nazi world as a 'war hero' and eventually made a Hitler Youth. Although improbabilities and happenstance are cornerstones of the film, it is based upon a true story. Written by
Keith Loh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Julie Delpy did not speak German and performed her role in English and was later dubbed over. See more »
When the Russian refugees are fleeing Poland and are strafed by a German fighter plane, the fighter plane is obviously a smaller scale radio controlled model. The airplane resembles a Supermarine Spitfire, an airplane not used by the Germans. See more »
Salomon 'Solly' 'Salek' Perel:
The landowners and the bourgeois keep the people in ignorance. They encourage religious superstitions, and with the help of the popes, priests and rabbis they smother all revolutionary instinct. That's why we call religion the opium of the masses.
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Amazing but true tale of strength and the will to live
This story is made even more amazing since it is based on fact. The real Solomon Perel has quite a story to tell. I have also read the book, and the movie is a bit factually inaccurate, but it is still tremendously well-made.
Young Solly is played by a beautiful young actor named Marco Hoffschneider. His good looks and charm are part of what get him to convince the Gestapo that he is not a Jew, but an ethnic German. But Solly has much more getting him through this ordeal. His determination and strength of spirit, plus blinding will to live, and perhaps the youthful exuberance of being able to accomplish it, help him to pull off the charade. The young boy speaks several languages, and is able to use this skill to convince Nazi soldiers that he is not Jewish. The soldiers adopt him as a sort of "mascot." Solly is careful not to show his circumcised penis to anyone, including the German girl he falls in love with. Fate is also on his side, since several times when it seemed he might be found out, the hand of a higher power intervenes.
This is an engrossing film, sad and funny. Perhaps Solomon Perel is ashamed that he lived with the enemy to save his life, but, he is alive today to tell his story. The real Solomon Perel makes a brief appearance at the end.
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