6.5/10
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Invincible (2001)

PG-13 | | Drama, War | 17 January 2002 (Germany)
A Jewish strongman performs in Berlin as the blond Aryan hero Siegfried.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Herschel Steinschneider / Erik Jan Hanussen
...
Zishe Breitbart
Anna Gourari ...
Marta Farra
...
Master of Ceremonies
Jacob Wein ...
Benjamin Breitbart
...
Alfred Landwehr (as Gustav Peter Woehler)
...
Herbert Golder ...
Rabbi Edelmann
Gary Bart ...
Yitzak Breitbart
...
Mother Breitbart
Ben-Tzion Hershberg ...
Gershon
Rebecca Wein ...
Rebecca
Raphael Wein ...
Raphael
Daniel Wein ...
Daniel
Chana Wein ...
Chana
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Storyline

The film is based on the true story of Zishe Breitbart, a Jewish blacksmith's son from Poland who becomes a sensation in Weimar, Berlin as a mythical strongman. His employer Hanussen dreams of establishing an all-powerful Ministry of the Occult in Hitler's government. Yet as Hitler's hold on power grows more sure, and Berlin erupts in a ferment of anti-Semitism, Zishe must decide how he will use his strength. Plagued by nightmares, he takes counsel from a local rabbi. He becomes convinced that he has been chosen by God to warn his people of the grave danger they face. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

17 January 2002 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Invencible  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,293 (USA) (20 September 2002)

Gross:

$80,636 (USA) (18 October 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jouko Ahola, who plays the strongman, is an actual strongman and actually lifted the weights as seen in the film. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in 1932, prior to the Nazis coming to power in Germany, yet most of the S.S. and S.A. uniforms show insignia which the Nazis did not use until after Hitler became Chancellor in 1933. See more »

Quotes

Hanussen: No jew should be as strong as you are.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to The People of Kuldiga and The People of Vilnius See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Debridement of Rome (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Arioso 'Dank sei Dir, Herr'
from the "Cantata con stromenti"
Music by George Frideric Handel (as G.F. Händel)
Sung by Emmi Leisner
(recorded 1927)
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User Reviews

 
A Very Interesting Film Despite A Rather Serious Flaw
9 December 2005 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

A film broadcast at 2am on channel 4 and starring Tim Roth ! I remember the last movie broadcast on channel 4 with Tim Roth in the credits which was THE WAR ZONE , one of the few movies I've regretted watching due to the depressing content and since INVINCIBLE centres around the birth of Nazism I wasn't expecting too many uplifting moments but I certainly recommend Werner Herzog's strange and interesting drama based on a true story

!!!! SPOILERS !!!!

In a Polish town the circus arrives and blacksmith's son Zishe Brietbart beats the strongman in a competition and impressed with Zishe's physical strength a theater agent signs him up where he performs at Berlin's Cabaret Of The Occult which is owned by Danish nobleman Hanussen . Since it's 1932 the Nazis are on the rise so Hanussen reinvents Zishe as " Siegfried " and shows his predominantly Nazi audience the physical strength of this Ayran . Hanussen shows this as proof of Ayran superiority while at the same time impressing his audience with his own occult powers . However despite his own naked opportunist agenda Hanussen has a secret of his own that he doesn't want known to his audience ...

Some people may claim how ridiculously ironic it is having a Jew pretending to be an Ayran strongman in order to put forward a racist agenda but this I feel is the whole point of the story which one has a feeling has been turned into a fable rather than a story that has stuck to rigid facts . Certainly the most bitter irony about the rise of Nazism is that one of the architects of Nazi philosophy Alfred Rosenberg had a Jewish name while Hitler , Heydrich and Eichmann were of Jewish descent themselves ( Though technically not Jews - According to tradition if your mother wasn't a Jew neither are you ) so people with an irony deficency will have a problem understanding this beautiful and intelligent film

And I don't apologise for thinking this is a beautiful and intelligent film , it might not have the reputation of Herzog's other films like the painfully overrated FITZCARRALDO but it's one I can certainly recommend for a mainstream audience . However there is one serious flaw that stands out and that is the casting of Jouko Ahola as Zishe . You do get the gut instinct that Herzog wanted to cast a certain Austrian body builder turned politician in the lead role and it's impossible to watch Ahola without being reminded of Big Arnie except Ahola is an even more wooden actor and his lack of thespian skills is made even more obvious when he's playing opposite Tim Roth is one of his most impressive roles which slightly damages the movie


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