Train of Life (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Train of Life (1999)

Train of Life (1999)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Train of Life Photos

Movie Info

Radu Mihaileanu directed this French-Belgian-Romanian-Dutch comedy-drama, set in Central Europe during the summer of 1941. Yiddish-speaking Jews purchase a train, forge identity papers, and leave town. Posing as both prisoners and Nazis, they hope to reach Palestine via the Soviet Union, but problems arise when they encounter real Germans. To make matters worse, resistance fighters plan to dynamite the train. Made in Romania with French and German dialogue, this film won an international critics prize at the 1998 Venice Film Festival.


as Mordechai
Clément Harari
as The Rabbi
Constantin Barbulescu
as Third Resistant
Robert Borremans
as Der Hauptsturmfuhrer
Constantin Codrescu
as First Wise Man
Theodor Danetti
as Second Wise Man
Daniel Decot
as First Resistant
Constantin Dinulescu
as Fifth Wise Man
Gad Elmaleh
as Manzatou
Michel Israel
as Third Wise Man
Zwi Kanar
as Lilenfeld
Serge Kribus
as Schtroul
Johan Leysen
as Schmecht
Marian Stan
as Man In The Synagogue
Savel Stiopul
as Fourth Wise Man
Sanda Toma
as Yossi's Mother
Michel Vanderlinden
as Second Resistant
Razvan Vasilescu
as The Tzigan Colonel
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Train of Life

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

Deep and poignant.

Full Review… | January 7, 2010

Plays like a lively farce, full of fun and life, but at the same time tainted with the horror of reality.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

The marketers would have you believe that Train of Life is a touching, thought-provoking masterpiece. For sixty seconds it's exactly that.

Full Review… | April 2, 2001

Its international appeal lies in Mihaileanu's wonderful screenplay, which is both profound and funny, a rare combination in any work of art.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Film Journal International

An often amusing parody that more closely resembles "Hogan's Heroes" than "Life is Beautiful."

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for Train of Life

I saw TRAIN OF LIFE on JEWISH LIVING TV last week thinking it was just another HOLOCAUST movie. This film used comedy and drama meshed together to create the ultimate wish list. TRAIN OF LIFE is the story of an EASTERN EUROPEAN shetle or village that builds their own train from a shell of a train they purchased. The plan is to cross into RUSSIA through UKRAINE and over to PALESTINE [just the plan alone should have knocked me over the head]. The story goes through the train's almost capture and convincing a NAZI outpost to supply food for the train. It is entertaining, well acted, and the hope that never was for so many villages.

kim whitman
kim whitman

Superb film.

Ina S
Ina S

Super Reviewer

A funny look at the Holocaust, but not in the purposefully overdone vein of The Producers. One of the best endings out there.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller

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