A Rabbi in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland in 1942 fights to maintain his stance of peace and acceptance of his fellow man despite the growing turmoil and atrocities created by the Nazis. ...
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A Rabbi in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland in 1942 fights to maintain his stance of peace and acceptance of his fellow man despite the growing turmoil and atrocities created by the Nazis. Meanwhile his son becomes more militaristic with each new offense and a young German soldier offended by the actions he sees decides to help the rabbi's daughter escape from the Ghetto after she is raped by an officer.Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Rabbi Adam Heller(Armin Mueller-Stahl, proving once again that he is an incredible actor, as a stronger role than I'm used to seeing him in... in general the performances in this are great) fights to keep the Warsaw ghetto in 1942 from erupting into a violent uprising(he never goes further than verbal provocation, by pointing out reality), and to maintain his own and his family's sanity and faith, in the face of the daily ritual of the Captain of the Nazis(who, as most of his kinsmen, is a contemptible human being) Richter(Charles Dance, insidious as he was in Last Action Hero), of personally choosing a handful of Jews to drive away on a truck(you can guess where to). When the man of the cloth sees the return of his son, he finds him unrecognizable, spewing hateful rhetoric in response to what he's experienced in the army. And thus, moral questions are raised. Is it OK to be vicious in response to the ugliness of others? Is any group all saints or only sinners? The discussion between parent and offspring is compelling throughout. And this does bring in one German troop who is questioning what they're doing, to further add nuance. This really captures the horror of the Holocaust, without showing much of anything directly. Almost everything is hinted at. You hear something in the distance(such as the screams of those shot down in the street, amongst the hail of automatic gunfire), for example. There are unfortunately flaws with this. The pacing is bad. Not counting the end credits, this is 90 minutes long. And it feels no less than two hours. Part of it is that the story sometimes stands still(while they delve into more of the facts of the situation, at least one of which doesn't lead to a payoff), and one plot thread is established early on, and then abandoned until it's needed for the compelling conclusion. There is a consistent thick tension and a lot of disturbing content, and brief graphic bloody violence in this. I recommend this to everyone who has ever even briefly considered watching any movie on the terrors of World War II. 7/10
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