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on 25 November 2003
This film is simply wonderfull.
The story revolves around a young jew who, in order to servive ,joins The Hitler youth movement,and finds himself the hero of the german army,and every blond german girls fantacy.
His story takes us on a long and thrilling journy of self discovery where he finds love, frendship, mindles hate and eventualy self exceptence.
If you love films with depth and feeling, this Europe Europa is for you.
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on 1 August 2003
Unlike so many of todays Hollywood "Action Blockbusters" where you spend the fim watching big bangs, good over evil etc etc and where the male protagonist ALWAYS gets it on with his sexy female sidekick, films like this from the contenent really make you think...they are films with depth.
This film is no exception, and followes the true life story of one Jew in Nazi Germany, who in order to save himself from the concentration camps pretends to be German and gets involved in things like the Hitler Youth and so on...a really good film.
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on 29 June 2005
This is a truly great piece of cinema - I have many foreign films and this is one of the best - very good story and very well done - would watch again and again - What this poor 16 year old had to endure - and what a story that came out of it - takes you straight to Europe of the 1940's and the suffering and predudices prevalent at the time - Recommend it highly! Don't miss.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 August 2014
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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VINE VOICEon 31 May 2010
Salomon Perel's war story is all the more unsettling for being true.Directed by the Polish Jewish director, Agnieszka Holland in 1991.Salomon(Solly)Perel(Marco Hofschneider) is a young German Jew,whose father is a Polish Jewish shop-keeper living in Germany with his family.There is a Pogrom against Jews on Kristallnacht,Solly and his brother Isaak,flee east into Poland.His circumcision is shown at the start of the film and will be the defining event in his identity.Solly gets split up from his brother and ends up in a Russian orphanage in Grodno,where he learns to be a fervent young Stalinist, infatuated by his tutor.He becomes a model Komsomol and learns to speak Russian.He spouts indoctrination like `Religion is the opium of the masses'.

With the German invasion of Russia the school is uprooted and moves east,he gets separated and becomes a young German to the German soldiers,an interpreter who usefully speaks Russian for his unit,known as Joseph(Jupp)Peters, a favourite of the German soldiers.His ethnicity becomes known to a homosexual German soldier but he keeps it secret.He becomes an accidental hero after all his unit are killed and he surrenders to the Russians,only to find out that it's the Russians surrendering to him,with the German army behind him.The Commanding officer wants to adopt him and wants to send his `son' to one of the best German military schools,an elite youth academy.He falls for lovely,Jew-hating Aryan lass,Leni(Julie Delphy).But by this point the effort of hiding behind so many masks, not to mention hiding the most tangible physical evidence of his identity,is beginning to take its toll.

The film covers the absurdity of adapting to every changing event and yet the need to to survive at all costs. Ironies bite hard and occasional farcical moments add an unsettling edge to Perel's fortunes,e.g. in the class about Aryan racial superiority,when Solly is judged as not pure Aryan,but `Aryan enough'.Showing up the pseudo-science of racism.He also makes friends where he can,even with Germans who are anti-semitic.Perel is ambivalent towards all these people,Communist or Nazi,his chameleon-like skills bring him among.The film does not evade the horrors,but it alludes to the Holocaust only obliquely.There is no time to reflect or moments of conscience. Perel's brief but chilling glimpse of the Lodz ghetto is all the grimmer for being set against his picaresque, spirited progress.The real Solly is shown at the end as he is now in Israel,singing a song.This film covers a lot of history with a light touch.
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on 3 January 2016
The amazing part is that this is based on historical fact. Talk about identity confusion - this youngster had it in spades, and survived.
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on 1 February 2014
This is a film I first saw as a child late one night on channel four. The images and story have been burned in my mind since then. As a story of survival in truly brutal times this film is up there with The Pianist.
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on 29 January 2007
As a teacher of Holocaust Studies I can say unreservedly that this is one of the most stunning films one is likely to see on the subject, ideal for Year 10 and above and compulsive watching.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 December 2014
I first saw this film about 20 years ago. Watching in again on DVD I am pleased to say it has stood the test of time. The story, about a young Jewish boy, trying to evade capture by Nazis is well told and paced. Even though I already know the ending, the film maintained a palpable tension throughout, expressed well by the lead actor every time he feared he was about to be caught. How he avoids being rounded up could seem implausible if you were not aware that it is a true story, however the psychological truth of the boy caught up in these circumstances is never in doubt.
The background of Poland caught between the forces of Nazism sweeping eastwards and the Soviets sweeping west is well depicted as are the individual responses of all those caught between them. Overall an excellent film well worth seeing.
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on 20 August 2014
very unusual story based on fact - well worth watching !
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