Where Hands Touch (2018)
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Theirs was a struggle to belong and reconcile their German identity with the atrocties in their personal and social world.
Stories like these are few and far between and when one see the ridiculous scores some have given this film it is no wonder. I agree with other reviewers that 'Sadly, I suspect this very departure from "the norm" is why this film is being unfairly downvoted'.
In a nutshell, there were many groups targeted under Nazi rule...we simply don't hear about them, short of some peripheral mention. And their attitudes and struggle for identity is worthy of understanding. I also commend Amana Asante for daring to tell this story, because within the black community (and others I'm sure) the backlash to this film has been fierce, which is precisely why we need more films like these that shatter the status quo. We are applauding you Amana and all of the wonderful team who worked on and acted in this quality film.
Another characterological discrepancy was in the father of Lutz. Here I was just plain confused. He was presented as both a leading Nazi commandant in the concentration camp, but... huh? In secret he loved American jazz and artists like Billie Holiday and he was against war as a result of his experience in WWI seeing people die for nothing, and yet... ? None of this was very convincing, especially once the characters were in the concentration camp. Of course what he does to his son towards the end of the film... well that to me was an obvious plot point, something done for the sake of the film's dramatic action, and not for the inherent realism of the characters and their stories.
Finally, the relationship between Leyna, the biracial girl, and Lutz, the Nazi young man, bordered on being unbelievable, based on the question of "why?". As there is no outward reason given for their attraction, the explanation had to come from my own interpretation which was that 1) Lutz "loved" her because she was beautiful and 2) Leyna "loved" him because he loved her and presumably she was attracted to him. These "explanations" were enough to justify whatever risks to their lives they both took in the name of their love and to explain why neither of them seemed to question why they were "in love" with a person so antipathetic to their lives.
But again, despite these points of confusion in the script, the film was compelling with some excellent acting and cinematography.
It's apparent based on the ratings that there's some bias here. Because with all the low ratings, no one seemed willing to explain WHY in a review. Was it false? Did it misrepresent events or was it historically inaccurate? That doesn't seem to be the case since no one bothered to expand on why.
What I'll say is this--there are MANY stories to be told about this period and this is the first time I've seen anything address the plight of bi-racial children in Germany at this time. The first I'd heard of it was reading about Hans Massaquoi --former Managing Editor of Ebony magazine--a bi-racial child (African father, German mother) who, in his own words, "yearned to be a Hitler Youth." Of course, being a child he had no idea what it really meant and how his German identity was about to be tested. But beyond that, stories like these are few and far between. Sadly, I suspect this very departure from "the norm" is why this film is being unfairly downvoted.
In a nutshell, there were many groups targeted under Nazi rule...we simply don't hear about them, short of some peripheral mention. And I commend Amana Asante for daring to tell this story, because within the black community (and others I'm sure) the backlash to this film was fierce, which is precisely why we need more films like these. Brava!
I have read accounts and seen pictures from this period but this perspective has never been told.
This movie needed to made to educate people about the plight of biracial children in Nazi Germany.
Forget the critics. An excellent movie; a must see!
Seriously recoiling and critiquing lousy film making, so bad that the message is -- "I love Romeo the Nazi" -- is an expression of bias?
I think virtually all of us panning this film *want* to give it a high rating for the story it is attempting to tell. But the clichés, terrible scripting, absolutely abysmal acting do not do credit to the story of attitudes toward biracial children in Nazi Germany (or virtually anywhere in the world where they were mostly seen as genetic and social threats).
The bravery and resilience of the young woman simply do not come through at all. It was an opportunity to present her as superior in every way and instead the writers decided to overlay a sanguine and utterly not credible "Romeo and Juliet" nonsense over the story, obliterating the meaning and actual genuine drama.
We get no explanation, none at all as to why this brave young biracial girl would fall in love with a Nazi who shows no real trepidation at being part of the machinery that will kill Jews, a lot of other people, and destroy Europe.
FYI the young actress, Amandla Stenberg, is actually a good actress. Abby Cornish once again proves she has lucked into a couple of roles, but in general she is at best a mediocre to poor actress.
Would strongly recommend watching, I am also deeply confused by this films reviews and ratings in which are negative. To me it was absolutely brilliant and massively underrated, a little gem.
The costumes are very authentic, except for the army and Hitler Youth uniforms, which look much better than the real thing. While death camps were almost exclusively SS operations, the perpetrators are all dressed as army. I suspect costume availability had something to do with that. There was a contemporary issue as to concentration camp duty as a way for cowards to avoid battle, but it played out differently than shown. Also, why are there so many '30s French cars in Germany?
I greatly admire the way this film shows how concentration camp existence consisted of one deadly gauntlet after another. One could come out alive only as the chance beneficiary of one dumb coincidence after another. What a pity that it had to wait until there are so few actual survivors to comment.