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While mapping out the largest cave system in Ukraine, explorer and investigator Chris Nicola discovers evidence that five Jewish families spent nearly a year and a half in the pitch-black caves to escape the Nazis. This is the story of the longest uninterrupted underground survival in recorded human history.Written by
"No Place on Earth" is a unique and compelling drama. It's World War 2 and the Nazis are moving into occupied Poland and rounding up the Jews and sending them to "camps". A small group realize what will happen in the camps so they flee to the local grotto where there are miles of underground caves which will be their home over the next two years. 38 people, from the very young to the very old, will try to survive despite lack of food, the unwillingness of their former neighbors to help, and the active pursuit by the Nazis and even by the Ukrainian police.
50 years later, cave explorer Chris Nicola came upon small clues when exploring one of these caves, and he began a long time pursuit of what happened. Eventually he uncovered the incredible tale and even some survivors.
The film is 2 films in one - the experience itself which is re-enacted and Nicola's journey of discovery. Interviews with survivors are interwoven with dramatized scenes, and at the end of the film, Nicola and 4 of the survivors journey back to the caves to re-visit their experience.
The cave scenes are memorable, not only for the excellent photography, but the actors and makeup really let you experience the apparent helplessness of their situation.
The film is reminiscent of two similar films. "In Darkness" (2011) tells the story of Jews living in Lvov (Poland) who were kept alive for over a year in the sewer system. "Kanal" (1956) is a Polish film about the Warsaw Uprising - a 2 month struggle by a platoon of 43 resistance fighters who made their way through the city's sewer system to escape a Nazi offensive. Both these films are well worth viewing, as is this one.
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