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Successful doctor Artur Planck, his wife Clara and their two daughters are seeking shelter from the Nazis storming Poland. They find a safe house in the farm of Emilia, their local grocer who is all alone after her husband fought for his country and never returned. Amidst the horrors of the war that surrounds them, an impossible love triangle erupts as Emelia uncontrollably falls in love with Artur. Such a fragile arrangement is sustained by love - or is it just the will to survive? The answer to that question may not even be made known to those who make it out alive. Written by
It's all fine, although it's partly like a filmed stageplay
The filmmakers went to the trouble of shooting much of this movie in Poland, and maybe they benefited from something invisible in the atmosphere but there is rather little happening outdoors in the movie and I couldn't have told whether it was shot in Poland or in Poughkeepsie. Because so much of the film occurs in the small space of a peasant's hut, you could mistake it for a stage play with a few cinematic scenes tacked on. And the screenwriter, Motti Lerner, does in fact write mostly for the stage. It could be that audiences were surprised by the relative weight of the indoor part of the story, where everything depends on the interaction of the actors and their movement in a space no bigger than a stage; and by the relative weight of the interplay between the characters living in fear of the Nazis, as opposed to actual encounters with the Nazis themselves. But if you accept that the emphasis lies where it does, then you'll certainly be glad that for once Uri Barbash directed a script by an independently successful playwright rather than by his brother Benny (no offense intended). The actors do a great job of selling the story, and the script does a great job of showing a human dilemma of conflicting priorities with life and death at stake.
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