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Steal a Pencil for Me (2007)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 222 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 4 user | 15 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME is a compelling documentary feature film by Academy Award® nominee Michèle Ohayon about the power of love and the ability of humankind to rise above unimaginable ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Young Jaap's hand shots (as Jean-Pierre Gillain)
...
Jack Polak (voice)
Marieke Oudejans ...
Ina's hands
Jack Polak ...
Himself
Ina Soep ...
Herself
Ellen Ten Damme ...
Ina Soep (voice)
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STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME is a compelling documentary feature film by Academy Award® nominee Michèle Ohayon about the power of love and the ability of humankind to rise above unimaginable suffering. 1943: Holland is under total Nazi occupation. In Amsterdam, Jack, an unassuming accountant, first meets Ina at a birthday party - a 20-year-old beauty from a wealthy diamond manufacturing family who instantly steals his heart. But Jack's pursuit of love will be complicated; he is poor and married to Manja, a flirtatious and mercurial spouse. When the Jews are being deported, the husband, the wife and the lover find themselves at the same concentration camp; actually living in the same barracks. When Jack's wife objects to the "girlfriend" in spite of their unhappy marriage, Jack and Ina resort to writing secret love letters, which sustain them throughout the horrible circumstances of the war. Jack: "I'm a very special Holocaust survivor. I was in the camps with my wife and my girlfriend; and ... Written by Anonymous

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10 March 2007 (USA)  »

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Love flourishes even in mankind's darkest hour
14 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Michele Ohayon's "Steal a Pencil for Me" is a moving documentary about two Dutch Holocaust survivors who carried on a love affair - largely through a surreptitious exchange of letters - while imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. Though Jack was with his wife at the time, he nevertheless fell in love with Ina, a 20-year-old woman, who immediately became the love of his life.

As seen in present-day interviews (circa 2006), Jack and Ina make a delightful Old World couple, he in his 90s and she ten years younger. Ina, in particular, exudes a beauty and grace that, even in her 80s, reveal the fetching and bewitching girl who caught Jack's eye and captured his heart all those years ago. They also possess a charming sense of humor and a positive view of life and humanity that are only occasionally dimmed by the tears brought on by the memories of horrors past.

Yet, while there is plenty of footage chronicling those horrors, the focus of the film is on showing how beauty and love were able to flourish even in mankind's darkest hour. It's well worth seeing.


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