Top positive review
45 people found this helpful
He Who Saves One Life Saves The World Entire
on 14 June 2012
During the horrors of the holocaust,non-Jews saved many thousands of Jews from death and depravity at the hands of the Nazis and its allies.We know the stories of many of these brave ordinary people;Schindler,Wallenberg and Ten Boom are but a few and there were many more "Good Germans" who knew the risks of harbouring Jews yet still faced evil at every turn.
Every so often a small film comes along that just keeps me mesmerised and this is one of the best of them.Wonderfully acted,softly directed and with a story littered with interesting characters all of which is true.Luckily for us the consumer the artwork isn't misleading us into believing this is a war film full of gung-ho action but a delicate story of human decency when the world around had gone mad.
Based on the personal memoirs of Marga Speigel this film is an accurate narrative on the years she and her daughter spent living on the Aschoff family farm under the surname Krone whilst her Jewish husband (Menne) hid on another farm close by.
During WW1 Menne and his farmer friend Aschoff served in the trenches together and were awarded the Iron Cross,now that same country that honoured his bravery wanted him dead along with every other Jew in Europe.Although his long time (non-Jewish) friends are willing to shelter them there is still danger at every turn where any slight mishap could see the end of them all.
Amongst the Aschoff family loyalties are somewhat confused,the same night they see their son of to the Russian front they harbour Jews.Their daughter is a member of the BDM and whose boyfriend is an over zealous Nazi Youth leader.Plus being a large farm there are many other "guests" who could turn them in at a minutes notice so vigilence becomes an exhausting practice.
Now I don't perceive myself as shallow but a lot of war dramas I have seen in the past have bored me to tears and although not a lot happens plot wise in this film I was gripped from start to finish and would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in the holocaust or indeed if you have a heart at all.Simply put its a stunning piece of film making where nothing is rammed down your throat its just told as it happened.
Just as the credits roll there is an interesting vignette of the real life Marga Speigel and Frau Aschoff sharing a moment on set together which just warms your soul.
Filmed in German with well translated English subtitles.