The 11th Day (2005)

CHRISTOS EPPERSON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB

USA, 2005.  .  Screenplay by .    Cinematography by , Christos Epperson.   Produced by Christos Epperson, Michael Epperson.   Music by , .  Production Design by Ian Ashenbremer.  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A rarely-told story about the second World War is the one about the Nazi invasion of Crete in 1941. Following the failed attempt by Italian troops to secure the island, Hitler sends paratroopers to Crete in an effort to quash the rebellion but suffers the same meager success as his predecessors. Even after the city of Hania falls, men, women and children continue until the end of the war to fight to the death to protect their freedom. The Cretans accomplish some pretty impressive results (including the successful capture of a German commander in chief) but also suffer dire consequences for their efforts as well, including starvation and mass executions. This succinct, economical documentary covers the period using terrific stock footage, photographs and intimate remembrances from members of the resistance, who recount with vivid detail (and purple Greek pride as well) the situations they found themselves in during the invasion and occupation. Expertly edited, it’s marred only by some poorly performed re-enactments that the film could have well done without. Otherwise it’s a fascinating document of history for an event that isn’t as well remembered as one of the more high-profile battles of the period.

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