7.7/10
8,315
43 user 28 critic

Train of Life (1998)

Train de vie (original title)
In 1941, the inhabitants of a small Jewish village in Central Europe organize a fake deportation train so that they can escape the Nazis and flee to Palestine.

Director:

Radu Mihaileanu

Writers:

Radu Mihaileanu, Moni Ovadia (italian version)
10 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lionel Abelanski ... Shlomo
Rufus ... Mordechai
Clément Harari Clément Harari ... The Rabbi
Michel Muller ... Yossi
Agathe de La Fontaine Agathe de La Fontaine ... Esther
Johan Leysen ... Schmecht
Bruno Abraham-Kremer Bruno Abraham-Kremer ... Yankele
Marie-José Nat ... Sura
Gad Elmaleh ... Manzatou
Serge Kribus Serge Kribus ... Schtroul
Michel Israël Michel Israël ... Sage 3 (as Michel Israel)
Rodica Sanda Tutuianu Rodica Sanda Tutuianu ... Golda
Sanda Toma Sanda Toma ... Mere de Yossi
Zwi Kanar Zwi Kanar ... Lilenfeld
Razvan Vasilescu ... The Tzigan Colonel
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Storyline

Central Europe, WWII. The village fool of a small Jewish community warns the townsfolk that the Nazis are coming, and advises them to build a fake deportation train to cross the Russian border and get to Palestine. Some Jews are dressed up with German uniforms, and soon they start getting strange ideas about how it feels to be a Nazi; others are infected with the fast-spreading germ of communism. Meanwhile, the Russian border gets closer and closer... Written by <spillo@maya.dei.unipd.it>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Más intensa que La vida es bella... (Mexico)

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Language:

French | German

Release Date:

16 September 1998 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Train of Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Romania See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,038, 7 November 1999

Gross USA:

$154,790
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The footage of the train exterior and interior was actually second unit footage filmed for what was supposed to have been the Puppet Wars mini-trilogy, spun-off from the popular DTV horror series Puppet Master. See more »

Connections

References To Be or Not to Be (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Cine iubeste si lasa
Written by Maria Tanase
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Magic Realism Touch to Recall Life Before the Holocaust
7 October 2005 | by noraleeSee all my reviews

Despite a really annoying audience of noisy senior citizens I got into the spirit of "Train of Life (Train de vie)" (though it was odd having the shtetl residents in a foreign-language film speak French until I realized of course in "Jakob the Liar" Robin Williams and Liev Schreiber speak English so why not in a Belgian/Romanian-produced movie wouldn't they speak French?).

It has the immediate feel of the magic realism of "The Milagro Beanfields War" and it no more cheapens the Holocaust than "The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" cheapens the Civil War. It is full of the warmth and love of everyday life and personalities come sweetly to life.

I thought the Fool as the Seer was getting a bit much until it's made clear he's not really the Village Idiot so no heavy-handed symbolism.(originally written 11/14/1999)


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