Die Unsichtbaren (2017) Poster

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8/10
Excellent work showing us that the topic is far from done
Horst_In_Translation27 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Die Unsichtbaren" or "The Invisibles" is a German 110-minute movie from this year (2017). This award-nominated feature is the first theatrical release after a lot of small screen work for writer and director Claus Räfle and he shows us here that he absolutely ready for the transition. It's an ensemble cast we got here that includes many fairly young German actors. The most known is probably one of the older ones already, namely Florian Lukas, even if he does not play one of the very central characters this time. You can check out the cast list for yourself otherwise. Let me just add that the females were all fairly stunning, especially Schulz, Dwyer and Fee.

Now about the film itself: It never dragged and that is a really positive achievement for a film closer to two hours than to 1.5 hours. I myself would really call it a documentary because honestly the interviews with the contemporary witnesses are the heart and soul of it all and seeing how sadly half of them died already now shows us how long Räfle worked on this project. The scenes with actors we see are really only reenactments basically from what really happened in the memory of these Holocaust survivors. But they still feel incredibly authentic and I totally liked the approach there. I am generally a fan of chronological narration and that helped here too for me personally. The film never felt that it lacked focus, even if it kept jumping from one character to the next frequently and that also is an example of quality execution. Mauff I am generally not a great fan of, but he was as good as the rest. There were some really tense situations in here that will have you at the edge of your seat and this film once again shows how reality truly tells the most gripping stories. The fact that we know right away they will survive does not take away anything from the quality. On the contrary, it should still make us aware of the many who weren't as lucky back then.

The overall idea was already a well thought-through premise. What is up with these Jews who did not leave the country in time, who were not arrested or executed. Here we see what happened to some of them. How they changed their hair colors, how they hid thanks to helpers (even among the Nazis) or how they just tried to go on with their lives as normally as they could. I think there were many really interesting moments, like the one when he says that young men were not seen anymore without a uniform and what made him an obvious target. I also liked how the film showed us there were good Nazis too hiding Jews, that there were "bad" Jews too helping Nazis to arrest their own etc. The attention to detail came all naturally thanks to the interviewees precise descriptions of certain scenarios and situations. Overall, this was a really well-executed movie that is almost a must-see for everyone with an interest in that specific period from history. It shows us that even with the hundreds, if not thousands, of films made about this era in history, about Nazis, Jews, the Holocaust etc. it is still very possible to bring something new to the table and that we have a responsibility to make films like this one and distribute them too as long as we still have these contemporary witnesses alive. You can watch stuff like "Das Pubertier" or the newest Schweighöfer movie and become dumber by the second or you can do yourself a favor and watch intelligent and important and touching works like this one here. Without a doubt, one of Germany's finest from 2017. I forgive them for the slightly over-the-top melodramatic title addition "Wir wollen leben". This was a brilliant 110 minutes. Highly recommended.
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9/10
Focus on the positive
sangriakoenig4 May 2018
A drama that seamlessly combines interviews with the last living jewish eyewitnesses with recreated film scenes of berlin in the year 1943. In fact this might be one of the last movies with actual contemporary witnesses. Under the many films that cover the holocaust of the jews and more specific the time when jewish people had to live in the shadows, this film is special because the stories of the contemporary witnesses are so moving and astonishing thrilling. A very moving feature with a focus on positive aspects and some of the last good people in the third Reich.
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6/10
Hideout in Berlin
shakercoola16 August 2018
A blend of feature film and documentary, The Resistance or The Invisibles (depending on the release market) tells the story of young Jewish people who, with great ingenuity and emotional strength and great risk to themselves, managed to evade Nazi authorities between 1943 and 1945. The film successfully combines interviews with live action in such a way that it feels seamless. Technically, it is produced well too. While there are some establishing shots between sequences that look a bit amateurish, all in all it's a great story - a true story - absorbing.
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8/10
Unique and unsentimental blend of Documentary and feature film in this German Holocaust drama
karstenschmieder1 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
One of the more popular ideas in films that are based on real events or people is to show a small Interview fragment or photos of the actual persons during the credits. But how often do you see those Interviews actually integrated in the film, even driving the story? The interviews with the actual survivors surely are the thing that makes Die Unsichtbaren stand out among WWII/Third Reich/Holocaust-dramas. All of the Interviewees tell their remarkable stories in such a fascinating and humble way, that these segments alone would make the movie worthwhile. But they are so seamlessly edited into the reenactments of those events, that it is a real joy. Of course you could argue that this style is more documentary, less feature film, but the quality of the reenactments and the acting talent of those involved (especially Max Mauff and Alice Dwyer stand out) is enough to convince you, that Die Unsichtbares belongs in the cinemas.

Another factor is the positivity that the film depicts. Of course, its still a movie about the everyday discrimination and persecution of Jews, but it focuses on the witty ideas and lucky incidents that lead to the mostly positive outcomes for our protagonists. You wont see any on-screen-deaths or footage from the camps in Die Unsichtbaren. Still it tries to strike a balance of showing positive and negative actions alike from all parties involved - German Jews, German non-Jews and Russians - making the story a little more varied and complex than usual without ever being patronizing or sentimental.

At its core, Die Unsichtbaren is a polished German production that doesnt take too many risks, but its still a worthwhile movie with an interesting story to tell and good performances all around. The blend of Documentary and feature film works suprisingly well and makes this one a recommandation.
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8/10
The Resistance
bryangary6518 August 2018
Interesting film telling the story of these terrible times from another perspective, with the heroes being the German people who risked their lives to help many young Jews hide underground in World War 2
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