Europa Europa (1990)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Germany/France/Poland, 1990.  Bayerischer Rundfunk, Filmförderungsanstalt, The Senate of Berlin, Sofima, Ministère de la Culture, Centre National du Cinéma et de L’image Animée, Central Cinema Company Film, Les Films du Losange, Telmar Film International Ltd., Zespol Filmowy “Perspektywa”.  Screenplay by Agnieszka Holland, additional material by , based on the book by .   Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by , .  

The improbabilities of this film are further proof that life truly is stranger than fiction. Based on the memoirs of Solomon Perel, this powerful drama tells of a young Jewish boy () who manages to survive the Nazi occupation of Germany by pretending to be a Nazi himself. Separated from his family early in the war, Perel posed as a German war orphan and got himself accepted into the Hitlerjunge program, the Nazi youths who were seen as Germany’s future hope for world domination. His eventual survival of the entire war is a miracle of circumstances and blind luck, and the story is extremely well put together by Agnieszka Holland (directing and writing from Perel’s own memoirs). Not to be mixed up with Lars von Trier’s Europa, which is also known as Zentropa.

The Criterion Collection:  #985

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Adapted Screenplay

Golden Globe Award:  Best Foreign Language Film

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