While Joseph Goebbels infamously declared Berlin "free of Jews" in 1943, 1,700 managed to survive in the Nazi capital through the end of WWII. The Invisibles traces the stories of four young people who learned to hide in plain sight.
Berlin, February 1943: The NS regime declares the Reich's capital "free of Jews." At this point in time, 7000 Jews have succeeded in going underground. Almost 1700 will survive the horrors of the war in Berlin. The Invisibles tells the stories of four of these contemporary witnesses. Hanni Lévy, who has just turned 17, has lost both of her parents. Thanks to her dyed, blonde hair, she is practically invisible to her pursuers, and strolls along the Ku'damm to pass the time away. Cioma Schönhaus has also gone underground and leads an adventurous life that consists of buying a sailboat, dining in Berlin's best restaurants, and becoming a forger of passports, through which he saves the lives of dozens of other Jews. And while Eugen Friede joins a resistance group that distributes anti government leaflets, Ruth Arndt and a friend dream about life in America during the daytime; at night, she pretends to be a war widow and serves black-market gourmet foods in the apartment of an NS officer. ...
"The Invisibles" is a sanitized version of what could have been an important film about Jews in Berlin who stayed behind and blended in with the rest of the Berliners during WWII. We are told approx. 7,000 Jews evaded capture but that only 1,500 survived to the end of the war. This picture is handsomely produced but is a bloodless rendition of what must have been the case at the time. No violent encounters, no shootings and no sense of the scope of the matter.
The semi-documentary style is distracting, as the actors portray some of the survivors, who are interspersed with the story. Continuity is the casualty as the narrative is repeatedly interrupted to interview those survivors again and again.
Well done film that needed some Hollywood 'punch' and some added tension to avoid onscreen blandness.
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