This movie is based upon a true story. That should make us stop and think. These stories need to be continued to be told so we don’t repeat mistakes but also to see how freedom is very costly and rarely free. Set in communist Russia (Belarus today) during WWII, four Jewish brothers hide in the forest near their childhood home after the Nazis terrorize their village. Other Jews follow to escape and soon, due to numbers, they have to begin to structure their lives. There is inner conflict as well as between the brothers. Not enough food, building shelter, medicine and of course staying hidden. The main characters are likable and tough. I don’t know how well this film did in the cinemas but it is well worth your time. This also is a little different from the usual WWII films as it is set in Eastern Europe. Definitely food for thought for anyone of that heritage – I love it when before the credits then relay what happened to some of the people you have just spent two hours getting to know. I sat thinking how it would feel to be in any of their positions. Winters were brutal. Illness could easily kill. Dissatisfaction and complaining had to have been a morale killer. We know the ending and when the war finished; they did not. A must see without being too syrupy or overly gory.
OK – so oftentimes when my kiddo wants to watch a movie I bring a book or a crossword so I can multi-task. This time was no different except, I didn’t look down at the book much at all. Quite an engaging story albeit with a few holes. Interesting characters who are mostly believable. The whole thing flowed well. What if the planet were inhabited with people who had special powers? The audience for this was probably teens but I had no problem sitting through with my attention kept. A little bad language which was a bit contrived especially when the 13 year old girl swore. Trying to make her more street smart?? – maybe. The implied sex scene was also redundant. The overall tone had an almost X-Men feel to it with the opening scene in the lab but quickly moved to fast action in Hong Kong. Right blend of good guys, bad guys and tension but of course borderline ridiculous – hey who wants to sit around and watch believable – isn’t that what the news is for? A good veg out movie.
This movie is a delightful coming of age story set in London in the 60s. It deals with race as well as community and how family can look different from our usual paradigms. I have to say I shed a few tears from sadness as well as joy but great redemptive value at the end which always sits well with most people. When the title of the movie is mentioned within the story it is quite humourous as he is wondrously oblivious but carries that over to the whole racial conflict that the street is experiencing simultaneously. Maybe we should all start playing cricket too.