A group of wealthy American Jewish businessmen have been captured by the SS and are told that they are to be traded to the American army for several SS officers. However, these hostages are... See full summary »
A group of wealthy American Jewish businessmen have been captured by the SS and are told that they are to be traded to the American army for several SS officers. However, these hostages are being required to pay bribes for their "transportation costs." In order to ensure that the businessmen will be more cooperative in paying up, a beautiful female singer is placed in their midst as a bargaining chip. The group of hostages are then placed on a train which is supposed to take them to the ship that will deliver them to freedom, but a series of "mishaps" delays their escape. It soon becomes clear that the journey is nothing more than a charade to soak as much money as possible out of the hostages. They arrive at a concentration camp, where the hostages are ordered to disrobe before their entry into the gas chamber. A particularly unpleasant SS officer orders the singer to strip in front of him. Just as the singer appears to move to take off her underwear, she wrestles the officer's gun ... Written by
This film does not play well with today's mainstream audience.
I ordered a VHS tape of this rare film due mostly to the high ranking by a handful of voters. Of those I know who watched Katerina, I was the ONLY one who was not completely dissatisfied.
I have had the opportunity to see Austewicz and could appreciate the nature of the growing threat the Jews faced in this story.
The descriptions I have read of this movie don't really convey the tone accurately. Today's mainstream viewer will not appreciate the artistic stylings, the slow pace, the long monologues, or reading imperfect subtitles. On the other hand if you can read Anton Chekov, you'll be able to sit through this one.
Again, it is no Schindler's List, or Fateless. BUT, If you're a film history buff not looking to be entertained or uplifted, it is worth a look.
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