Four ‘War Films’ so far in 2023, though I prefer to call them ‘Human Courage Films’. All on Prime Video.

The Occupation (2020) tells the incredible true story of Sara Goralnik, a 13 year-old Polish Jew, whose entire family was killed by Nazis in September 1942. Michael K writes: A very well made film which shows what life was like in a peasant farming community in occupied Eastern Europe during WW2. The settings and characters provide strong authenticity and the story line illustrates the terrible collateral damage war extracts on innocent civilians.

PERSIAN LESSONS (20210 inspired by true events. This moving story about a Jewish prisoner in a prison of war camp in France is harrowing at times but the main characters are excellently portrayed and keep you enthralled. Well acted and filmed which give a feel for the conditions the prisoners were kept under. Nahuel P Biscayart plays the prisoner and a German favourite of ours, Lars Eidinger, plays the Officer (Watching him also in ‘Faking Hitler’ and Berlin Babylon 4 at the moment).

ESCAPE FROM SOBIBOR (2019) Horrendous in part, the film is based, on the Sobibor revolt which occurred in 1943 in German-occupied Poland. The main character of the movie is the Jewish-Soviet soldier Alexander Pechersky, who was a lieutenant in the Red Army. In October 1943, he was deported to the Sobibor death camp, where Jews were being exterminated in gas chambers. In just three weeks, Pechersky planned an uprising with prisoners from Poland and other locations around Western Europe. This uprising was partly successful, allowing roughly 300 prisoners to escape, of whom roughly 60 survived the war – Wikipedia. Only when reading up did I ‘place the face’ of the cruel commandant – Christopher Lambert, who is now 65. Tarzan! I thought those eyes looked familiar.

LOCAL SKIRMISH (2017) another film from Russia, directed by Aleksey Kozlov. World War II, 31 December 1943. A quartermaster squad of five Russian soldiers, trailing the front line by 20km or so, march into a tiny, mostly abandoned village on the road to Pskov. 

I’m going to quote madmonty12345 in full, as he encapsulates what we felt: ‘Now and again a little movie comes along which manages to convey more about a subject than any big blockbuster. I thoroughly recommend it, and I argue in its hour and a half, does a better job telling a soldiers story in war than many Hollywood war movies I’ve seen, no histrionics , none of the American style ‘a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do’ guff , no flag waving or chest beating here and its all the better for it. Its a small budget movie,so there are some scenes where the acting isn’t top notch, but in a way it makes the film feel all the more real, especially its small location of the farmstead.’


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