This movie follows the story of Adam Stein, a charismatic patient at a mental institution for Holocaust survivors in Israel, 1961. He reads minds and confounds his doctors, lead by Nathan Gross. Before the war, in Berlin, Adam was an entertainer - cabaret impresario, circus owner, magician, musician - loved by audiences and Nazis alike until he finds himself in a concentration camp, confronted by Commandant Klein. Adam survives the camp by becoming the Commandant's "dog", entertaining him while his wife and daughter are sent off to die. Years later, we find him at the Institute. One day, Adam smells something, hears a sound. "Who brought a dog in here?" he asks Gross. Gross denies there is a dog, but Adam finds him, a young boy raised in a basement on a chain. Adam and the boy see and recognize each other as dogs, and their journey begins. This movie is the story of a man who once was a dog who meets a dog who once was a boy.
The lines read at the beginning by Jeff Goldblum are a translation from the nineteenth century German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine's "In Der Fremde" (In Exile) Heine was an exile, spending his last years in Paris. See more »
Klein (Dafoe) states that he is Untersturmführer but wears collar tabs of SS-Obersturmbannführer. See more »
I had once the beautiful Father Land. The oak tree grew so high there. Silence nodded softly. It was a dream. It kissed me in German. It spoke in German. You would hardly believe how good it sounded. The words, Ich liebe dich, I love you. It *was* a dream...
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This is the best movie I have seen in a very long time. A completely intriguing script, with some really good acting. Jeff Golblum is playing a Jewish man and lands a powerful and extraordinary performance. Although he has faults at the beginning with the accent, he clearly improves during the movie. This is not a gruesome war movie. In fact, I didn't see one person murdered. It's a psychological drama that revolves around the tormented soul that Jeff Golblum portrays. A tragedy mixed with really dark humour that will keep your attention for the entirety of the film. It's rare that you see Hollywood actors doing such dark, confronting, art-house kind of movies, but this one works and I'm going to recommend it to lots of people.
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