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Europa Europa

29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041KWYPO

Reviews

All'inizio della II guerra mondiale, la famiglia ebrea Perel fugge dalla Germania in Polonia, per sottrarsi alle persecuzioni naziste: poi, allo scoppio del conflitto fra Germania e Urss, il padre manda in Urss i due figli più giovani, Isaak e Salomon, che però rimangono separati ell'attraversare un fiume. Salvato da un soldato russo, Salomon, detto Sally, finisce così in un orfanotrofio a Grodno, dove viene trasformato in un fervente comunista. Durante un attacco tedesco, l'orfanotrofio viene bombardato e distrutto, e Sally, ferito e isolato, è catturato dai tedeschi, al quali dichiara di essere tedesco e ariano, di chiamarsi Joseph Peters e che i bolscevichi gli hanno ucciso i genitori. Egli parla perfettamente il russo e il tedesco, e diventa così interprete, distrugge i suoi documenti e nasconde d'essere circonciso. Sempre con l'angoscia di essere scoperto si confida con Robert, attore omosessuale, che, pur sapendo la verità, non lo tradisce. Mentre tenta di tornare fra i russi, si trova invece in mezzo ad un attacco dei suoi camerati tedeschi ai bolscevichi, e, considerato un eroe del plotone, viene mandato a studiare in una scuola tedesca di élite perchè il capitano Von Laernau e sua moglie vorrebbero adottarlo, non avendo figli. Accompagnato da una matura funzionaria del partito, il ragazzo parte per la scuola, e la donna lo seduce in treno, durante l'oscuramento, cosicchè non scopre il suo segreto. Considerato un eroe nella scuola-caserma, Joseph dopo il giuramento di fedeltà ad Hitler, s'innamora di una ragazza, Leni, che gli si offre, ma che egli respinge a motivo della circoncisione. Dopo averla schiaffeggiata, perchè affermava che avrebbe ucciso volentieri tutti gli ebreil, Sally apprende più...

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 16 Sept. 2005
Format: DVD
This is an extraordinarily funny film which, while it doesn't quite reach the heights of Hasek's "Good Soldier Svejk", views war from the perspective of the little man, the naïve participant caught up and swept along by the currents of history and blind obedience of those around him. While the humour does achieve moments of high farce, it is usually kept as an undercurrent, as an ironic theme, as a vital celebration of the human spirit.
In the face of horror, holocaust, and the fifty million lives swept away in the European war of 1939-1945, laughter is not only still possible, humour is not only still possible, it is obligatory, for to have killed the ability to laugh and smile would have been to have destroyed the human spirit and allowed darkness to triumph. "Europa Europa" looks at war with an almost childlike vision, but a childlike vision refracted by years of adult distance and the ability to perceive the ridiculous, the risible, the raucous even in the midst of nightmare.
Based on a true story, apparently, "Europa Europa" follows the travails of teenage Solomon Perel as he flees a pogrom in his native Germany, returns to the family's Polish roots, only to witness the 1939 invasion. He flees to the Russian side of the dismembered country, but, when the Germans turn their attention to the destruction of Stalin, Solly finds himself captured and pressed into service as an interpreter.
He quickly becomes a front-line mascot and is shipped off back to Germany, to attend an exclusive school for the Hitler Youth and children of the Party faithful. Throughout the entire film he struggles to hide or deny his Jewish roots ... and, more particularly, to conceal the fact that he has been circumcised.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Louise Stanley on 3 Mar. 2005
Format: DVD
This must be the most truly awesome film I have seen. First of all, I couldn't believe it could be true until I saw Solomon Perel's name on the credits as himself as there just seemed to be too many coincidences to be believable. But then again, life is full of coincidences (my own included), so on we go.
The period detail and location filming is fantastic. Having lived in Lodz for a while, I could recognise the very streets and tram stops where it was filmed - something especially poignant as I lived on the site of the old ghetto, thus any film of the Lodz ghetto instantly brings back my own memories of that beautiful but neglected city (worth a visit). Secondly, the idea of having each character speaking in the language in which they would have spoken in real life was a master-stroke - too many films portray stereotypes of foreigners with silly accents (depending on which country is making the film for the exact stereotypes used), thus heightening my interest in the film tenfold (as someone who speaks Polish and Russian, although not German) when one was able to rest one's eyes from reading the subtitles rather than watching the action.
The characters are treated sensitively, with even the Germans inspiring sympathy, particularly Leni and her mother having to cope with the pressures of society and the need for compassion. War - and even politics in our society - does terrible things to people's values, forcing compromises that are often painful to make. Solek's survival depends on compromising his own values, and hinges ultimately on sheer luck, coincidence - or divine intervention? Not even Gerd or the Nazi schoolmaster can be wholly evil, and Hitler himself is portrayed as hiding his own compromises in Solek's dreams.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Crisdean on 16 Aug. 2006
Format: DVD
this is simply one of the all time best films I've ever seen. Whilst not being able to add much that has been said by other people here, this film shows you the strength of the human spirit over the absurd and often cruel forces of history. Even if it were not a true story, it would be an extremely good film but being aware all along that it is a true story, makes the pathos and the humour all the more personal. The cruelties of history - and especially of this period of history -so often just shows the horror of the effects on peoples - it is so rare to see a story where the human spirit has been maintained in the very worst grip of cruelty. I can have nothing but praise for this film -with the acting of the main charter by Marco Hofschneider - being superb - but also the story of one individual who was able to maintain their spirit (and sanity!) whilst being thrown into sureal situations by fate into the very heart of the very worst forms of evil - and surviving!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Hall on 30 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
A cracking true story ww2 dvd i have loads a nice one to add to my collection it looks like it has been transfered streight from video to dvd but thats ok its still a great film i would recomend as the story seems far fethed but is its true very quick delivery thanks amazon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 Aug. 2014
Format: DVD
EUROPA, EUROPA, 1990. This rare World War II holocaust comedy/drama tells an unlikely and ironic tale. Salomon Perel, a handsome German Jewish boy of 13, finds himself in Poland, separated from his family, in the early days of WWII. He is taken into a Soviet orphanage, where he becomes a member of the Komsomol, the Soviet youth organization. He is then captured by the Germans. He changes his name, poses as a German orphan, is valued for his translating skills and then is declared to have single-handedly captured a nest of Soviet soldiers. He is thereafter considered a 'war hero' and eventually made a Hitler Youth. He tries merely to survive the war: it seems inevitable that he will be discovered. Especially when a gay German officer and a rabidly anti-Semitic young girlfriend seem much too close to the goods. Improbabilities and happenstance are the basis of this history, yet it is true, based upon Perel's autobiography.

Perel plays himself as an older man; Marco Hofschneider turns in remarkable work as the young protagonist. The Warsaw-born Agnieszka Holland, who trained in Prague, directed. The French actress Julie Delphy, (BEFORE SUNSET, BEFORE SUNRISE, BEFORE MIDNIGHT, TWO DAYS IN PARIS), 30ish at the time, plays 15 year old Leni, who wants Perel to father her Aryan child, while she wishes she could cut the throats of Jews. This is a small film, dealing with the darkest of subject matter, which might well be unbearable, were it not lightened by flashes of - still dark-toned--humor. You will know if it is for you.
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