"Adam Resurrected" 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. "Adam Resurrected" is the story of a man who once was a dog who meets a dog who once was a boy.Written by
The lines read at the beginning by Jeff Goldblum are a translation from the 19th century German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine's "In Der Fremde" (In Exile) Heine was himself 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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A masterpiece doomed to go unrecognized. Not too many people would like it or even sit through it, but in fact it's one of the best holocaust-related films ever made. Hateful reviews have commented on the fact that the film is disturbing and weird - or about the absurdity of a man surviving the holocaust by acting like a dog for the entertainment of a Nazi officer; is it any more absurd than the idea of people stamped with numbers or shoved into ovens? In the face of a horrifically absurd reality, insanity is often a valid option. Most WWII films center on the partisans, the heroes, the ones who kept their dignity and humanity in the face of genocide. But not everyone did. A major goal of Hitler's action was not just to destroy the Jews, but to dehumanize them first. And in many cases it worked. That's what this film is about - the loss of humanity, the feelings of guilt shared by the ones who survived at the expense of their own most basic human dignities, and it's small wonder that it's difficult for most to swallow.
Paul Schrader made a fantastic job adapting Yoram Kanyuk's novel; reviews blaming him of 'emotional detachment' miss the point that this detachment is very intentional. The cold and distant feeling experienced while watching it is very different from the pathos of Schindler's List or Life Is Beautiful, and, rather than draw the viewer into the actual events, brings them face to face with their very madness and incomprehensibility. Jeff Goldblum portrays that feeling perfectly in what may be the most powerful performance of his career - reminding me, at times, of Roy Scheider in All That Jazz. Master-character actors Willem Dafoe and Derek Jacobi compliment him perfectly without stealing the show, and some of Israel's biggest stars join in to complete the ensemble cast. Bottome line - a terrific film, and instantly a favorite of mine, but I hesitate to recommend it to anyone for fear of being blamed for it later. Watch it at your own risk, with an open mind, and with an empty stomach.
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