A controversial photography exhibit about atrocities committed by the German army on the Eastern Front during World War II inspired Ruth Beckermann to interview soldiers about their experiences beyond the bounds of "normal" warfare.
Left on Purpose is a documentary film about the friendship between an aging anti-war activist who has decided that his last political act will be to take his own life and the filmmaker who is struggling to tell the story.
Using the late WG Sebald's book "The Rings of Saturn" as its template, this documentary traces the immensely respected author's account of a walk through Suffolk; a tour which prompted tangential musings.
Beckermann's parents met in Vienna after the Holocaust. Tracing the migratory paths of her family before World War II, Beckerman returns to the European Jewish communities which inspired her childhood stories.
This movie predates some of Duvall's more critically acclaimed and popularly received turns, but in truth, this may be the finest acting job of his career. Duvall is this film, and he has made this kind of intense, honest character study his own (Tender Mercies, The Apostle, The Great Santini). The black and white cinematography is perfectly suited to the story and the acting. It works as a far more honest story-telling device than Spielberg's "Schindler's List." This is a must-see for Duvall fans and for fans of small, independent films as well.
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