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Europa Europa (1990)

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A boy in Nazi Germany, trying to conceal that he is Jewish, joins the Hitler Youth.

Director:

Agnieszka Holland

Writers:

Agnieszka Holland, Solomon Perel (memoir: Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Solomon Perel Solomon Perel ... Salomon Perel heute (as Salomon Perel)
Marco Hofschneider ... Salomon Perel jung
René Hofschneider René Hofschneider ... Isaak
Piotr Kozlowski ... David
Klaus Abramowsky Klaus Abramowsky ... Vater
Michèle Gleizer Michèle Gleizer ... Mutter
Marta Sandrowicz Marta Sandrowicz ... Bertha
Nathalie Schmidt Nathalie Schmidt ... Basia
Delphine Forest Delphine Forest ... Inna
Andrzej Mastalerz ... Zenek
Martin Maria Blau Martin Maria Blau ... Ulmayer
Wlodzimierz Press ... Stalin's Sohn
Klaus Kowatsch Klaus Kowatsch ... Schulz
Holger Kunkel Holger Kunkel ... Kramer
Bernhard Howe Bernhard Howe ... Feldwebel
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Storyline

A Jewish boy, separated from his family in the early days of WWII, poses as a German orphan and is thereafter taken into the heart of the Nazi world as a 'war hero' and eventually made a Hitler Youth. Although improbabilities and happenstance are cornerstones of the film, it is based upon a true story. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In the tradition of Voltaire's Candide and Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for mature treatment of holocaust issues | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | France | Poland

Language:

German | Russian | Polish | Hebrew

Release Date:

14 November 1990 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Europa Europa See more »

Filming Locations:

Poland See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,433, 30 June 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,575,738
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

When Salomon rides his bike through the sheet of glass he cycles on past the shoe shiner, in the next shot he has fallen off his bike lying in the glass 6-8 feet in front of the shoe shiner. See more »

Quotes

Goethke: The composition of Jewish blood is totally different from ours. The Jew has a high forehead, a hooked nose, a flat back of the head, ears that stick out, and he has an ape-like walk. His eyes are shifty and cunning. He never looks you in the eye. He waves his hands about, makes exaggerated gestures, and he fawns before you, but the minute your back is turned he leaps at your throat! The Nordic man is the gem of this Earth. He's the most glowing example of the joy of creation. He is not only the...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Na plovárne: Na plovárne s Agnieszkou Holland (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Different Kind of Kulturkampf
3 July 2003 | by B24See all my reviews

One has to be annoyed with comments that question either the historical verisimilitude or the integrity of this film, whether from the shaky ground of some rigid, illiberal ideological or religious prejudice or from some one-sided version of history. Furthermore, negative ad hominem attacks on someone other than political leaders or other persons who willingly seek out the public eye are reprehensible.

Does this story ring true? It does to me, and if there is even one-tenth as much basis in fact in the life of Salomon Perel as is represented in the film, I am satisfied. Having been to all the places and delved into the culture and history of all the nationalities that comprise its background, I am also convinced that much if not all of the story is correct at a level that goes well beyond whether this or that small factual detail is rooted in what actually happened to the real Perel.

Moreover, "Hitlerjunge Salomon" (better known in English-speaking countries as "Europa, Europa") is a masterful piece of cinema, beautifully produced and directed, and bearing a cachet of authenticity that few cross-cultural films achieve. I can attest to the utterly convincing script and characterization within the German language portion, and the bits in Polish and Russian seem equally strong.

Why is it so difficult to believe that a malleable teenager raised in a cross-cultural environment would be any less rooted in one part of his life than another? Marco Hofschneider captures precisely the right tone as he demonstrates how "Solly" and "Jupp" are two complementary aspects of the same person. Indeed, there are even good Germans and bad Germans, good Poles and bad Poles, etc., etc. throughout the film.

None of this compromises the truth that millions of other Jews did not survive the Holocaust. Nor does it demean their memory to cast a glance or two at this singular exception. The survivors have their stories as do the victims, and to explore the wider spectrum of life that goes on is surely to find hope in the ruins of an otherwise depraved episode in world history.


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