The story follows an underground weapons manufacturer in Belgrade during WWII and evolves into fairly surreal situations. A black marketeer who smuggles the weapons to partisans doesn't ... See full summary »
Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1993 at the time of the heaviest fighting between the two warring sides. Two soldiers from opposing sides in the conflict, Nino and Ciki, become trapped in no man's land, whilst a third soldier becomes a living booby trap.
As adults, best friends Julien and Sophie continue the odd game they started as children -- a fearless competition to outdo one another with daring and outrageous stunts. While they often ... See full summary »
What could be better for the village than a scenic railway to bring in the tourists? What could be worse for tourism than war? Luka builds the railway and shuts his eyes to war. Then Luka's wife runs off with a musician and his son is called up to the army. Luka's life is a war zone. Then he meets Sabaha..
Central Europe, WWII. The village fool of a small Jewish community warns the townsfolk that the Nazis are coming, and advises them to build a fake deportation train to cross the Russian border and get to Palestine. Some Jews are dressed up with German uniforms, and soon they start getting strange ideas about how it feels to be a Nazi; others are infected with the fast-spreading germ of communism. Meanwhile, the Russian border gets closer and closer... Written by
There's quite a bit going on in "Train of Life" but it's worth following. The premise is that a shtetl (Jewish community) fears it will be deported to a World War II concentration camp. The village fool, Shlomo, comes up with the idea to purchase a locomotive, train some of the villagers to talk/act/dress like Nazis and head for Palestine in hopes they can fool the real Nazis.
Okay, the premise is far fetched. That's a given. But for this film, it works. The close-knit village buys into the plan and sets to work creating the ruse. Shlomo rises about his "village idiot" persona and finds new worth. The fake Nazi commander, Mordechai, begins to take his role a little too literally. There's a subplot about some of the young men converting to Communism. And a small band of resistance workers who try to blow up the train.
But the star of this film is not one person, it is the village. They've banded together to survive, which isn't lost amid the humor. There's true fear and hope. Some may feel the villagers are made fun of and lampooned, but there's a healthy respect for the Jewish customs and family closeness in this film. Watch the scene where the villagers prepare for the Sabbath during their journey and you'll see what I mean.
Too many films to count have focused on the reality of the Holocaust. There's no deny that it was a horrific event that should never be forgotten. This film does not desecrate or abandon that truth. It simply adds a new dimension worth exploring.
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