A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
In the winter of 1942-43, a Jewish family leaps from a train going through Silesia. They are separated in the woods, and Leon, a local peasant who's now a farmer of some wealth, discovers ... See full summary »
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>
The movie was shot simultaneously in English and German. See more »
When 'Jupp' leaves the police station after he admits to not possessing 'racial purity' papers, the town is bombed by a modern-era Hercules C-130 transport aircraft. 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.
See more »
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.
32 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?