DVDs – Mixed edition

Another installment in the intermittent posting of recently-viewed films. (On a 5 star scale listed alphabetically).

Europa, Europa (1990) ***1/2

A German film by a Polish director that won Golden Globe for best foreign film in 1992. An interesting take on the Holocaust, supposedly based on the true story of a Jewish boy who manages to conceal his identity throughout the war and even ends up in an elite school for Hitler Youth. Rather than focus on the Holocaust itself, it is the larger canvas upon which a struggle between doing what’s necessary to survive and being true to who you are is explored.

In the Realms of the Unreal ***1/2

Henry Darger spent part of his childhood in a home for the feeble-minded and held a series of menial jobs during adulthood in Chicago. Upon his death, his landlords and neighbors discovered the recluse had created a 15,000+ page novel of a fantasy world and hundreds of pieces of art about that world. This documentary explores Darger’s world as best as can be done considering no one knew what he was up to when he was alive. (Also recently aired on PBS as part of its excellent POV series).

Saints and Soldiers (2003) ***1/2

A slightly above average “based on actual events” World War II movie. Four American soldiers are behind enemy lines after escaping the murder of dozens of soldiers captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. A winner of several smaller film festival awards, the film’s main plot arises when they come across a British reconnaissance pilot with crucial information and must make their way back to Allied territory so the information gets through. Action, adventure, reflection and redemption ensue.

The City of Lost Children (1995) *

A surrealistic French sf/fantasy film about a man who cannot dream who kidnaps young children to steal their dreams but gets only nightmares. So far out I turned it off about half way through, something I rarely do. Surprisingly, it was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.

Film spectators are quiet vampires.

Jim Morrison, The Lords and the New Creatures

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2 comments to DVDs – Mixed edition

  • I can highly recommend “Saints and Soldiers”. And yes, “Europa, Europa” is based on a true story, or more exactly Solomon Perel’s book. The real Solomon also has a role in the movie, by the way.

  • Tim

    I was aware “Solly” appeared at the end of the movie. The qualifier “supposedly” came from material I read elsewhere indicating the movie deviated somewhat substantially from Perel’s original book.