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  • Divided We Fall (Musime Si Pomahat) [DVD] [2000]
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Divided We Fall (Musime Si Pomahat) [DVD] [2000]

10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Bolek Polívka, Anna Sisková, John Agar, Csongor Kassai, Jaroslav Dusek
  • Directors: Jan Hrebejk
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Widescreen
  • Language: Czech
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Metrodome
  • DVD Release Date: 21 April 2003
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006JI4M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,488 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Josef and Marie Cisek (Boleslav Polivka and Anna Siskova) are a childless couple living in a small occupied town in Czechoslovakia during the second World War. The couple offer refuge to a young jew but their plan is complicated when Horst, a former co-worker of Josef's turned-Nazi-official moves into their spare room.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Louise Stanley on 22 Feb. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the kind of film I could probably watch over and over again...I saw it on late night BBC TV over the summer and it perfectly encapsulates my conspiratorial and dare-devil mood at the moment.
Like most European films of this genre it is funny and thankfully free of the pervasive American sentimentality that tends to render their movies about Jewish life in occupied Europe rather treacly and unrealistic (Robin Williams' "Jakob the Liar" was good, and quite funny; but could only have been made by someone who wasn't there). Even on my second viewing of this film now I have it on DVD, I was still holding my breath every time Horst came within inches of David without seeing him, or when the brilliant climax threatened everything that Josef had been desperately clinging to for two whole years.
The filming is expert, with just the right amount of symbolism, camera action which enhances the mood of the scene and characters who are believable (although I think Marie is too perfectly made-up for a wartime housewife).
The only low point on the DVD is the cloying trailer, which is predictably American in tone. If I'd seen it before I saw the movie, I probably would have missed out on easily one of my all time favourite films.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
A film about a couple who shelter a Jewish escapee during the second world war and the dangers that this puts them into, particularly given that a friend of the familiy is collaborating with the Germans. The first time you watch it is always going to be the best as the action slows to a crawl when the characters are in real danger and the tension is immense. This loses its effect on second watching as you know what's going to happen but it's still an amazing film and a great insight into what life must have been like for the Czechs in WW2.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MissNinjaGeek on 13 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD
In Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, it was not always easy to know who to trust. Josef & Maria are unable to have a baby and find themselves hiding a jewish escapee in their apartment. An old acquaintence, Horst, now works for the Nazi's and his abrupt & unexpected visits provide for lots of tension as they try to protect their secret.

I can't help thinking of "The Pianist" when watching this film, except really they are nothing alike. "Divided We Fall" is much easier & enjoyable to watch. It is lighthearted, funny and clever. What I especially liked about this film were the characters and the warmth and development of the relationships between them. I recommend it to everyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Poulova on 1 Jan. 2008
Format: DVD
This is a brilliant movie and tells so much about our Czech mentality. And it shows perfectly how nobody is the perfect hero and everybody is in its own way, the world is not black and white and never will be. I also love the way how the drama is being told with such a gentle humour.
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Format: DVD
This is a wonderfully adult, accomplished and humane account of one family's and one neighbourhood's struggle to survive in world war 2 Czechoslovakia under German occupation.

It is a small scale film that nevertheless seems to encompass a whole world of moral dilemma as the two leading players seek to establish where and to whom lies their primary duty in circumstances of exceptional strain. Having taken the decision to shelter a desperate Jewish aquaintance, they must live with the consequences for themselves both during and after the war, hemmed in by collaborators, the occupying forces, their neighbours and by their own relationship.

Director Jan Hrebejk never takes a black-and-white approach to the complex decisions at the heart of the film's action, but rather encourages his viewers to reflect upon all the shades of grey. The final mood is one of optimism and even joy among all the gloom, and that this is neither signposted ahead nor the product of sentimentality is a tribute to the firm control he keeps over his material.

This is a subtle, carefully planned piece of film making. The direction and photography are inventive but never tricksy, with effective use of overhead, fast-motion and unfocused shots. Many of the outdoor scenes were obviously filmed in natural, brilliant sunlight, making a paradoxically effective contrast with much of the difficult subject matter of those scenes. There is excellent use of colour, too.

Not least, the acting is first rate. The wife and the creepy collaborator are excellently played, but the real tour de force comes from the rangy, dishevelled Boleslav Polivka as Josef, the husband. He displays relative passivity over long periods, but punctuated with bursts of paralyzing fear and bewilderment.
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