7.6/10
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65 user 49 critic

Divided We Fall (2000)

Musíme si pomáhat (original title)
Trailer
1:58 | Trailer
In Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia, a childless couple agree to hide a Jewish friend at great personal risk of discovery and execution.

Director:

Jan Hrebejk

Writers:

Jan Hrebejk, Petr Jarchovský (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bolek Polívka ... Josef Cízek (as Boleslav Polívka)
Anna Sisková ... Marie Cizková
Csongor Kassai ... David Wiener
Jaroslav Dusek ... Horst Prohaska
Martin Huba ... Dr. Albrecht Kepke
Jirí Pecha ... Frantisek Simácek
Simona Stasová ... Libuse Simácková
Vladimír Marek ... SS Officer
Richard Tesarík Richard Tesarík ... Captain
Karel Hermánek ... Captain (voice)
Otto Sevcík Otto Sevcík ... SS Offcier
Jirí Kodet ... Dr. Fischer-Rybáf
Petr Knotek Petr Knotek
Helena Neuwirthová Helena Neuwirthová
Nelly Kocarjan Nelly Kocarjan
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Storyline

In World War II Nazi occupied Czech Republic a childless couple, Josef and Marie Cizek, can only watch while the Jewish family of their employers, the Wieners, are first removed from their own home to a spare room in their house by the Nazis, then deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp. Years later, young David Wiener, the sole surviving member of that family has managed to escape and make it to the Cizeks. Although fully aware of the extreme danger of harboring a Jew in the Third Reich, the Cizek's can not permit themselves to leave David to certain death and agree to hide him. However, this decision leads to terrible danger of discovery by the Nazis and especially their friend and Nazi collaborator, Horst Prohazka, who is attracted to Marie. With desperate cleverness and luck, the Cizeks struggle to keep the secret, even when Horst begins to suspect. In doing so, they find themselves making unorthodox choices and learning about the true nature of the people around them. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In a war-torn village, one couple makes the ultimate sacrifice to save another.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Czech Republic's official submission to 73rd Academy Award's Foreign Language in 2001. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Keep Away from the Window (2000) See more »

User Reviews

 
Just incredible...
13 March 2004 | by litmusSee all my reviews

Just saw this on BBC4 - extraordinary - it's the kind of achievement American (and British) screenwriters should practice for years to emulate. Robert McKee, see this film!

The writing, directing and acting are all superb, and in the service of a supremely human story beautifully constructed around timeless epic themes of man's inhumanity to man, war, and all the other big stuff. To separate these from the movie itself, though, would be to do it a great disservice.

The mix of laugh-out-loud humour, gripping thriller, and finally a well-earned and unsentimental tear-jerker of a last 15 minutes is the zenith of a movie-watching experience. "Divided We Fall" is very funny from the outset, but it doesn't take long for the filmmakers to skilfully tighten the knot with sudden character twists and brilliant writing early on. Once we're immersed in 1943 Czechoslovakia, we're not only rooting for the lead character Cizek, played immaculately by Bolek Polivka - a winning combination of contemporary earthy Brit character actor Philip Jackson and 20th century comedy genius Alistair Sim - we're feeling like we're there with him.

He and the ensemble cast play every beat of the story just right (there's even one moment midway through where the audience are maybe allowed to get a bit too far ahead of Polivka's character, but it's remedied by the performances). The visual flourishes, especially the effects of switching between film speeds and using a DV tape look, all enhance the narrative without intruding into it, and thus heighten the tension at unexpected moments. The costume and make-up designs bring the human stories to warm life; and set against war-torn 1940s backdrops, the production design could hardly go wrong.

A great treatment of a much depicted time and narrative that manages to make events feel fresh, real, scary, funny, dramatic, ultimately hugely moving...somehow many more people should get a chance, and be urged, to see this film.


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Details

Country:

Czech Republic

Language:

German | Czech

Release Date:

16 March 2000 (Czech Republic) See more »

Also Known As:

Divided We Fall See more »

Filming Locations:

Jaromer, Czech Republic

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,583, 10 June 2001

Gross USA:

$1,332,586

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,046,440
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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