Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 428
A psychological adventure that follows two European Jews who survived Nazism and revisit Europe for a tour of their past. Seventy-seven-year-old Jan Wiener and seventy-two-year-old Arnost Lustig escaped concentration camps and managed to flee Europe, only after losing their families. Now the two men return to visit the Czech Republic, and while making peace with their difficult pasts manage to keep each other company.
Aug 24, 2001 Wide
Nov 19, 2002
First Run Features
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No larger aspect of what is in this film can be new to us; but seeing it in this old-friends perspective gives all of it, familiar and new, a novel effect.
What unfolds onscreen is remarkable: The passions and arguments of the past are resurrected in the present.
Reminds us that different people react to madness -- in this case, the Holocaust -- in different ways.
Spending time with these guys is an invigorating treat.
Even if these guys hadn't each gone through so much strife and real tragedy in their life, they're just interesting right now to see them going back and forth.
Less a document of wartime experience than of the mentality one needs to maintain in order to be a fighter, and the danger of attacking, however benignly, cherished beliefs.
'A humanistic piece about how the Holocaust, fascism, and the Second World War left permanent emotional scars on everyone who lived through it.'
Bar-Lev's intimacy with his subjects is remarkable, and it allows him to reveal how these men have managed to become and remain friends.
The fight and its aftermath don't provide an especially satisfying conclusion to the piece.
Even though I'm not sure it should have even been made, the final product is at least emotionally impressive and absolutely debate inspiring.
Not surprisingly, it's moving; but it's also endlessly engaging, uproariously funny at moments, informative, and eventually touching in ways one might not have expected.
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