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 ... See full summary »
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
Powerful Moments That Are Lost In An Atmosphere Of Melodrama
There are some very powerful and very emotionally moving moments in this movie. Certainly the deaths of Artur and Clara's two young daughters after they're shot by German soldiers are horrifying, Clare Higgins was riveting as she described Artur's final fate, and the concert at the end of the movie as she played the cello and saw in the audience the faces from her past certainly made the point that survivors of the Holocaust must be haunted by their memories and must find it difficult to move on. But on the whole this movie disappoints. Those powerful moments are somewhat scattered and so don't really hold this together or raise it to a higher level.
Instead, this movie came across to me as rather muddled. It shifts back and forth repeatedly from 1971, as Clara revisits some of the places from her past, to 1941, as we're given the story of what happened to her family. The shifts are somewhat abrupt. They didn't flow very well; they weren't smooth. I also thought that the movie had an unfortunate air of melodrama to it as it traces the relationship between Artur and Emilia - the young woman in whose farmhouse the Plancks hide, and who falls in love with Artur and begins a somewhat strained relationship with him. I'm not denying that such things could have happened, but it really didn't seem to be the plot point around which a movie of this type should revolve.
As an addition to the "Holocaust" collection of films, I have to say that this is not one of the stronger ones. (3/10)
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