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I suppose everyone has seen one or more film representations of The
Holocaust, but this one is different. It focuses not on the horror of the
events themselves, rather, it's main thrust is struggle to return from the
I liked the film for its apparent accuracy in location and the detail of what it was like for some of the Jews liberated from Auschwitz to find their way back to their homelands. Virtually helpless, the Jews in Primo Levi's autobiography embark on an odyssey that eventually gets them back to their homes -- at least some of them. All the more surprising is that Stalin's Soviet Union is their main benefactor throughout all of this. While this is supposed to be an autobiography, I have to wonder at some of the scenes, for example, when the train load of Jews arrives at the Munich main rail station, a former Werhmacht soldier kneels before them. In another, a Jew with barely enough food for himself, gives some bread to German POWs in Russia so that he can watch them fight over it. The irony is unmistakable.
Overall, I liked the film. It's one you have to see more than once because of all the detail. It's a bit difficult to follow the dialog in part, because much of it is in the language of the people who are represented: Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, French, Germans, Italians. Not only that, but the English dialog is accented and somewhat difficult to follow.
I intend to see it at least one or two more times in order to get the full effect of this very well done story.
The Truce is a great movie. Even if this is not your type of movie that you would want to see, the story in itself is terrific. The story of post-holocaust, the close of the 2nd World War in Europe and the prime of Stalin in command is the setting of the movie. The actors bring out the greatness of the story with their colorful and realistic characters. This story, of a kind of Italian band of brothers, trying to get back home is the plot to one of the best movies dealing with redemption in 1945 Europe. Agnieszka Wagner is down right stunning. Although she plays a simple role, it is moments like these, with her on camera that make the movie good. The entire movie is packed with moments of laughter, horror, sweetness and truth. The Truce is a forgotten classic of its genre.
"The Truce" chronicles the homeward bound odyssey of an Auschwicz survivor - Primo played by Turturro - in the chaos immediately following the fall of the Third Reich. Although Primo, an Italian Jew, is the central character, the camera spends more time on the people, places, and vicissitudes which he encounters on his journey from Krakow to Turin. This beautifully shot, somber film with an abundance of extras and a minimal core cast has no specific focus. The interest in this film is in the story and the story is in the telling. A very worthy cinematic endeavor.
"The Truce" is unlike any other Holocaust film I've ever seen in at least two respects. First, it is focused on the return to their homes via the Soviet Union of a group of survivors from Auschwitz. Second, the events are distilled through the eyes of a particular victim, Primo Levi, an Italian chemist and disbelieving Jew, who recorded his experiences in an autobiographical memoir, "The Reawakening," transformed into a film by the Italian director, Francesco Rosi. Levi himself is portrayed by John Turturro, the only name likely to be recognized by an American audience. Turturro is a skilled actor and his performance is marked by emotional restraint. There are some telling scenes in the movie (and improbable coincidences relating to reappearance of characters who had previously departed the scene for destinations unknown). What holds the film together and makes it worth seeing is Levi's sensibility and occasional direct quotes: e.g., "In a world where there is Auschwitz, there is no God." This is not a great movie but it is very good.
I have read "Se questo è un uomo" 15 times, and I also consider "La Tregua" as one of the most extraordinary Odysseys of our times. I can hardly find any of Levi's masterpieces in this hodgepodge of episodes, hardly connected to each other and with barely any historical explanation of the events. Several comments about god and religion reported in the movie were not even present in the book, giving the impression that the director wanted to twist Levi's thought to serve his own philosophical agenda. The movie relies too much on images and too little on Levi's own considerations. Some effort has been put in trying to represent the chaotic world of those times, but I would have appreciated less scenic representation and more intimate comments.
A really great movie. From my point of view, this hits the same genre that "Saving Private Ryan" and "The Thin Red Line" created in 1998. Francesco Rosi does neither need the bloody pictures of Spielberg nor the beautiful nature of Malick to create the right mood. This was the first time, a film became true applause, in the sneak preview at my favourite cinema in Berlin. Nothing more to tell - everybody should see it.
Just saw it, think it was great. Had no problems understanding the english at all. Kinda slow but I think that's the only way to make a movie like this, especially when it's a true story .. Nice to see a slow movie sometimes, most movies of today are to hectic. Good movie, absolutely worth while seeing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched a copy of The Truce on VHS last night my mom bought it for like a doller some years ago at some video store that was going out of business. I poped it in because of my interest in films portraed during the world war two era. I figured since i saw the American actor from do the right thing (john turturro)on the cover, as the star actor that he was going to be portraying an native Italian, speaking English and i was right.Had john turturro been speaking Italian. At least to to his fellow italians this film would have been more memorable. I gave this film 3 stars for the part where it shows the Greek guy going back to his country first.And telling john turturro and the other italians that he was getting beter treatment because his country was in the united nations and that john turturro and his Italian people's had lost the war.The Greek Greek guy's character was entertaining. the story wasn't bad. I liked that map of all the direction that john turturro took. that they showed at the end. OK the Title. "The Truce" I can not pin point why this movie is called The Truce. I'm guessing because of the personall relationships john turturro has with people while he is trying to get back to italy. But it is not clear their is no clear "truce" portrayed. The part where he see's the German solder in munich and then the German soldier see's him and then the German soldier get's on his knee's and bow's to john turturro. Did that actually Happen? Anyway all i can say is i watched the whole thing.it's not that bad. it's not that good either.
THE best film I've seen in years .
Primo ( John Turturro in his best role )is a survivor of Auschwitz ,
survivor of Holocaust . He is Italian Jew saved by Russians at the end of
WWII . All he wants is so simple - just to go home . But railroads are
destroyed and he has to make a detour true Minsk ( Minsk is a capital of
Belorussia . Minsk is a hometown of my mother . Minsk is the city where
4 buildings was still standing after WWII . Minsk is the city which my
mother had to leave when she was 2 years old and hide under the horse cart
during the air strikes ... she still can't talk about it .)At the same
he need to learn how to live usual life , how to look without scare ,
without pain . How to live at all .
What makes this film 10 stars out of 5 ... little details , the feeling ,
the scare in everyone's eyes . I know this feeling . I know this scare . I
don't want to remember it , but this film brought it back . And especially
now I think everyone have to learn it ... before it is too late.
This film is very slow and very deep . Acting on highest level - I even
forgot that this is actors "acting". What shocked me most - the details ,
just little things which are so important ,
This film have to be watched by everyone and taken deep into our hearts .
This kind of story might and have to change our world for better.
for being a movie on such a sensitive subject, the holocaust, and directed by one of the great italian directors, I really had high expectations. But there were silly moments that were clearly intended to please the movie going crowds, those who can enjoy a romantic remark or stereotyped environment, but not challenging a movie audience to think a little more. Scenes like the dining table with italian soldiers, for example, was just silly. While all the pan-european characters spoke in their native tongues, the italian soldiers were dubbed in english. The dialoges were clearly intended to please the crowds, to show how "fun-loving" italians are, always singing, always eating, always together. From a great book, a mediocre movie. Contrast this with another holocaust movie made also in italy, "Life is Beautiful", and in this film, the language differences is instead exploited to make it a great film. As for the tongue that should be used to make a holocaust film authentic, Yiddish should be used, except of course for the russian and german soldiers, and the western european jews that spoke no yiddish. All eastern european jews that found themselves struggling together in the camps did not speak Polish, Romanian, German, or Hungarian, but the language that was common to most of all, Yiddish. Don't know of a holocaust movie that is like that.
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