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Joaquim de Almeida,
A Rabbi in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland in 1942 fights to maintain his stance of peace and acceptance of his fellow man despite the growing turmoil and atrocities created by the Nazis. Meanwhile his son becomes more militaristic with each new offense and a young German soldier offended by the actions he sees decides to help the rabbi's daughter escape from the Ghetto after she is raped by an officer. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the weeks before the Warsaw uprising of Jews in 1942, a Rabbi struggles to keep true to his faith in the face of violence all around him. With his son becoming increasingly angry, his daughter a favourite of the local Captain and a guilt-ridden sergeant tensions increase in the Ghetto.
This is set around a terrible time in history, it should therefore have the horrific intensity of the period - you shouldn't be able to tear your eyes away from the screen. However it's not that captivating. The story is still terrible, but it's not totally mesmerising. The characters are generally quite well written - the Germans being the weakest link, although some of the Jews are too 'Jewish' if you know what I mean. Not that they're unbelievable - it's just that some of the actors are clearly forcing the actions and accent a bit.
Armin Mueller-Stahl is excellent as the Rabbi, as is Don McKellar as Paul. However McKellar is not allowed to do anything other than be angry whereas Mueller-Stahl is allowed a full range of emotions. Charles Dance gives a sub-Ralph Fiennes performance as the German Captain but doesn't have much to do. Chad Lowe (he of famous brother) as the guilt-ridden Sergeant Lott is OK but is too obvious for my liking - would a German sergeant really have shown his mercy so clearly all the time like that? I'd have preferred if he'd hidden his feelings in front of superiors and been even more angst ridden by his double life.
It's a fascinating story. But it's a little too simplistic here and some performances are not complicated enough to deal with such a situation (Mueller-Stahl excluded). Overall it's a good film but it just lacks something in it's performances, shallow scripting and TVM directing.
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