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Fugitive Pieces
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Reviews & Ratings for
Fugitive Pieces More at IMDbPro »

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42 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

Go see this movie

10/10
Author: srlevinson from United States
3 February 2008

Moving, beautifully crafted, unbelievable performances, direct, poetic, raw. I was so moved by this film, I find it hard to compose complete sentences to describe it. This movie touched and inspired every cell in my body. The acting by the entire cast was precise and authentic. How were they able to compile this cast? How did they manage to extract these performances? The writing is intelligent, sensitive, moving and direct. This is a rare script. Each scene in this movie required such an investment by the entire film crew to reach its rare authenticity. The courage it would take to produce this film escapes me. While the result deserves the highest awards, this is not a film that was made for the sake of popularity. This film feels like a labor of love and the result of the truest of intentions. My hat is off to anyone who participated in this film.

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31 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

To live with ghosts requires solitude

8/10
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.
5 May 2008

This week Jews and others around the world celebrated Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed every year since 1959 to "never forget" the murder of six million Jews during World War II. Loosely based on a novel of the same name by Canadian author Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces by Jeremy Podeswa whose father was a Holocaust survivor, touches on an often-overlooked aspect of the tragedy, that those who have managed to survive deep trauma may be unable to rid themselves of their obsessions. The film spans a period of roughly 35 years, beginning in 1942 and concluding in the late 1970, going back and forth in time between the events of childhood and present time. Set in Biskupin, Poland during World War II, seven-year old Jakob Beer (Robbie Kay) witnesses the murder of his parents and the abduction of his beloved sister Bella by German soldiers.

Disregarding Bella's instructions to remain at home, Jakob runs away. Hiding in the forest, he plants himself into the ground "like a turnip", hiding his face with leaves until he is discovered by Athos Roussos (Rade Serbedzija), a warm hearted Zorba-like Greek archaeologist on a dig. Athos brings the traumatized boy to his home on the sun-drenched island of Zakynthos in Greece where they live through the Nazi occupation, suffering deprivation but surviving the atrocities that befall Greece's Jewish community. The relationship between Jakob and Athos is slow to develop but they eventually form a bond. "I will be your koumbaros, your godfather," Athos says. "We must carry each other. If we don't have this, what are we?" After the war, Athos receives a teaching position in Canada and they move there hoping to forget the past. Jakob, now played as an adult by Stephen Dillane, has neighbors who are also Jewish immigrants and he develops a close relationship with Ben (Ed Stoppard) who he watches grow into a gifted writer. Though Jakob has become a successful writer in Canada himself, his marriage to the lovely Alex (Rosamund Pike) is threatened by haunting memories of Bella and his obsession with the Holocaust. Her vivacity and joy for life is in sharp contrast to his solemnity and he "longs for the loss of memory", and writes about his wife's "shameless vitality" saying, "To live with ghosts requires solitude".

After their breakup, Jakob falls in love with Micheala (Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer), a scholar twenty-five years his junior, and her charm and intelligence allows him to venture out of his shell. Fugitive Pieces is a quiet and sensitive film that has a touching poetic quality and Robbie Kay turns in one of the best child performances I have seen in years. Though the film often becomes too literary and does not soar dramatically, its message is strong - that though we should never forget a tragedy, there may be a steep price for remembering.

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

beautiful well crafted movie about a Jewish boy who survived the Holocaust and thrived through the love of a stranger

10/10
Author: technolog from Toronto, Ontario
4 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a beautiful well crafted movie. I was struck by how the movie doesn't fill in the blanks for you, but gives you a chance to imagine what the characters are feeling and thinking. The cinematography is exquisite, contrasting the light of the scenes in Greece with the darkness of the scenes where the young Jakob is escaping from the Nazis. One quote from the movie is that "it is not extraordinary that wood can burn, but that it can float". You don't have to be a descendant of a Holocaust victim to appreciate the very strong message delivered by the movie, that you can either be consumed with the fire of your past life's horrors or allow yourself to float and survive and thrive.

technolog

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A very moving account of the troubles of war

8/10
Author: Lester May from Camden Town, London, England
29 May 2009

I won a pair of tickets to this film, not knowing much about it - what a lucky win it turned out to be.

War is a terrible thing and often tortures the remaining years for its survivors. For a child, of course, war's awful memories impact without the luxury of maturity and this story is but one among millions. But the story is told well and says something good about the human condition.

The film is beautifully shot and the locations are a treat for the eyes. The actors are each plausible in their roles and perform well. The story is very moving - take some tissues! Perhaps a little slow moving for some and perhaps a touch too long, it is nevertheless a very good film.

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18 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

One of the best pictures we have ever seen....

10/10
Author: hyg1 from United States
12 July 2008

We had no idea in advance of this movie...but we were overwhelmed totally. To us, it is an Academy Award Nominee to say the least. Rarely does a picture such as this, is able to move anyone emotionally as well as creating love and inspiration about the human soul. We will not go into the contents of the film...but if you do not see it, you would be missing something in your life. It's that good. I do not understand why it has not been shown in larger movie venues. We saw this in a small theater, similar to an art film setting. Go run ..give yourself a lift in life experience and see this film. We can't wait till it's on a DVD so we can buy it and enjoy it again.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Very Moving

7/10
Author: Mike B from Canada
29 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A very moving and thoughtful film and it does so on a very personal level by examining the experience of a young boy. The film flips back and forth from his war experience to his after-war life in Canada.

It deals well with the trauma brought on by war – in this case the Holocaust. This young boy lost his parents and sister to the Nazis. He is forever tormented of what became of his sister who he last saw being forcefully dragged away by the German tormentors. It does make one wonder at the brutality of a people who kill needlessly and never imagine the lifelong suffering that they cause. This is the strength of this movie. This evil is countered by the generosity of his Greek mentor who became his life-long adopted father.

As mentioned the film shifts back and forth between the war years and his time in Canada. The periods when he was a young boy are the most engaging parts of the movie. There are times during the Canadian sequences where the film becomes somewhat mundane. The time spent with his first girl-friend is so superficial (the actress is simply eye-candy) that the movie almost loses course and becomes banal.

Also some of the sequences when he returns to Greece are almost an advertisement for a beautiful vacation. The settings are so luxurious that they start to detract from the main message of the movie.

Also at times the film becomes a little too 'wordy' – there are too many quotations from passages of a book.

Nevertheless this is overall a powerful movie.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

original ending

9/10
Author: dmroberts1000 from United Kingdom
5 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Firstly, absolutely loved the film, just felt I had to respond to the numerous comments regarding the alternative ending. Having researched it(could not find info on the original ending on IMDb -nor had I read the book) I felt that leaving us (the audience) with Jacob finding solace after such a traumatic experience, finally being able to love, fathering a child, finally being able to lay his sister to "rest" left me feeling some happiness after what was, generally, a very sad film, a better way to end than (as the original suggested) Jacob lying dead after a car accident. A moving tale, brilliantly acted & directed, and all the better for the (much needed) alternative ending.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Powerful film

10/10
Author: vendu-maison (vendu.maison@gmail.com) from Montreal
16 October 2010

Wonderful film not be missed. All the characters are very well developed, and portrayed with sensitivity. People with a troubled past will identify with the protagonists soul searching journey, especially if you have been affected by the holocaust. The musical score just serves to tighten that chocking feeling as the viewer attempts to suppress tears. The cinematography is masterful in capturing some of the most beautiful sea side scenes available in Mediterranean Europe (Greece).

The writer protagonist (Stephen Dillane) is well experienced playing introspective roles, as he also played the husband of Virginia Wolf (Nicole Kidman) in "The Hours."

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not just a Holocaust escapee story; it's more than that in a good way.

6/10
Author: JohnRayPeterson from Montreal, Canada
18 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The timing for my watching this movie was unfortunate; I have recently seen three movies on related subject of the Holocaust, so I was not disposed in being entirely objective. That being said, this movie did offer an original take; it included a moving relation between a man saving a young Jewish boy from the well known fate of the rest of his family. The boy, Young Jakob, is played by Robbie Kay, who performs well, certainly thanks to the direction of Jeremy Podeswa (Boardwalk Empire) who also wrote the script from Anne Michael's novel; Kay portrays what it was to live in the haunting memory of the family he could not extinguish from his mind and in particular the memory of his 15 year old sister Bella, played by the beautiful and charming Nina Dobrev.

The movie does not follow a formal timeline not even in its flashbacks and in the scenes when both young Jakob and older Jakob has visions of his sister; she had an indelible mark on Jakob. The story also goes back and forth intermittently showing how devoted, kind and understanding the boy's savior, Athos, was and how he helped shape his future. The actors do a splendid job, but I found it was a bit too melodramatic at times. Perhaps the introverted character of older Jakob, played by Stephen Dillane, was what made the melodrama a bit more than I cared to see. It does not take away from his performance; I just was not in the best mood for this. He became a writer, encouraged by Athos, and predictably, his writings dealt with subject relating to the loss and effects of the loss of his family in WWII.

Rade Serbedzija, who plays Athos Roussos, Jakob's savior, performs his part very well, but it seems he always plays that very same character in so many of his movies; at least here I liked how he was, for all intent and purpose, a damn good father figure for Jakob. I won't forget the mature Jakob's love interests, Alex, played by the talented and delicious Rosamund Pike, who's zest for life was too much for the melancholic Jakob; thankfully he later is introduced to the gorgeous Michaela, played by Ayelet Zurer, a kindred spirit who unleashes in Jakob the desire for love and life in ways the viewer was likely to believe he was incapable of finding. The ending was unexpectedly a happy one, well not the sad one we could have expected before Michaela's introduction; it was the redeeming factor, which makes me okay with recommending it, providing the storyline is one that does not turn you off. p.s. The scenery of the Greek Islands where a good part of the story takes place will make you wish you lived there.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Well Done

9/10
Author: dtbaker2 from United States
29 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As thoughtful than Schindler's List, without the drawn out dramatic elements...and was as insightful as The Pianist.

A multiple rent/view - perhaps one to own.

See this movie; you won't be "wow-explosioned" or overly "cleavaged" - it is realistic and subtly portrays a genuine appreciation for love and for living.

We were a bit distracted by the failure of the first relationship - as there was little character development related to that first, in that it seemed on first viewing that there was merely a physical attraction and that the sudden ending of it was not anticipated. A second viewing made it clear in hindsight (or we simply had missed it...?) This is a wonderful film, especially for parents longing for something to discuss with adolescents - to explain the intricacies of hardship, of relative human values and the folly of prejudice.

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