The devastating legacy of a liaison between a concentration camp inmate and a Nazi doctor reflects on the lives of her sons.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Eldest Son
...
The Mother
...
Youngest Son
...
Beautiful Woman
...
Young Model
...
Young Girl
...
Asian Woman
Carrington Vilmont ...
The Doctor
...
Young Girl's Father
...
...
The Father
...
Young Father
Jake Houston ...
Younger Brother
Nicholas Sireci ...
Young Brother
...
Young Mother
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Storyline

During World War II, a Jewish woman saves her life thanks to a love affair with a doctor in charge of human experiments in a Nazi concentration camp. The woman then marries and moves to New York, where she raises two emotionally stunted sons. The eldest son battles his sense of disconnection from life while working at a scam modeling agency, where he befriends a charming young co-worker who begins to restore in him a sense of excitement and purpose. The neurotic younger son is locked in a compulsive, co-dependent relationship with his mother. Written by Alma Har'el

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sin. Suffer. Repeat. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing violent and graphic sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

17 July 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les Ombres du passé  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

None of the characters have names, the screenplay was written specifically for all the characters not to address each other by name. See more »

Quotes

Eldest Son: No, don't. Please, don't leave. I'm sorry.
Beautiful Woman: For what?
Eldest Son: It... just... I'm sorry.
Beautiful Woman: No, you're not.
Eldest Son: What the hell is that supposed to mean? I'm telling you I'm sorry, and you're telling me that I'm not for nothing will change that. I'm sorry.
Beautiful Woman: No. You can say whatever you want to say, and you cannot take it back. You're not sorry. From that impassive tone of voice and those empty eyes, you're not sorry.
Eldest Son: Please don't go. You're hurt about what I said. I'm sorry.
Beautiful Woman: No... you're not.
Eldest Son: It's not like I did ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Intense adult drama about repercussions of violence and war
28 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie tells a story held secret by most people who write about the Holocaust, which is the crippling effect of the Survivors' war experiences on their children. Studies have shown that the children of Nazi Holocaust Survivors share many if not all of their parents' psychological issues, particularly depression and post-traumatic stress. This film has the rare courage and honesty to show the bleak emotional damage left by that war, not only on its direct victims but on their children as well. The portrait of the mother is particularly bitterly real -- her seemingly inexplicably outbursts and fits of violence a near-mirror of the unexplained violence she witnessed as a girl; her narcissism and coldness linked to her own abandonment as a girl. Again, a poignant and tragic reality of the psychological landscape of all survivors of war. The actors were superb, the dialogue actually worth LISTENING to. Haas and Lucas put in beautifully nuanced performances and Bisset was outstanding in arguably the best, most emotional performance of her career, and looking more beautiful than ever.

This is not an easy film. It is most definitely not a family film (there are explicit depictions of sex). It is a disturbing portrait of broken people struggling to find reasons to stay alive. It's pretty great, really.


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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