Europa Europa (1990)

Europa Europa
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Writer: Agnieszka Holland
Based on: Solomon Perel‘s autobiography Ich war Hitlerjunge Salomon
Cast: Marco Hofschneider, André Wilms, Ashley Wanninger, Klaus Abramowsky, Delphine Forest, René Hofschneider, Julie Delpy, Hanns Zischler, Martin Maria Blau, Bernhard Howe, Klaus Kowatsch, Holger Kunkel, Halina Labonarska
Seen on: 19.8.2021

Content Note: holocaust, anti-semitism, fascism, sexualized violence

Plot:
Solomon (Marco Hofschneider), called Sally, lives with his Jewish family in Germany, but with the rise of the Nazis, the situation becomes ever more dangerous for them. After his sister is killed, the remaining family makes its way to Poland, hoping to be safe there. When the Nazis come to Poland, too, Sally becomes separated from the rest of his family. He first finds shelter in a Russian school, but after the Nazis catch up with him there, too, he doesn’t have many options left. When he finds himself face to face with German soldiers, he tells them that he is a “Volksdeutscher”, member of a German minortiy in Poland, and since his language skills prove him to be a valuable interpreter, he is taken in. But it’s not that easy to pretend that he isn’t Jewish.

Europa Europa gives us an important perspective on World War 2 – one on what it could mean to simply survive, and how hard even the “lucky” persecuted people had it. It’s a really memorable film with a memorable protagonist.

The film poster showing Solomon (Marco Hofschneider) leaning over Leni (Julie Delpy) to kiss her.
Continue reading

Re-Watch: Charlie & Louise – Das doppelte Lottchen (1994)

Charlie & Louise – Das doppelte Lottchen
Director: Joseph Vilsmaier
Writer: Stephan Reinhart, Klaus Richter
Based on: Erich Kästner‘s novel Lottie and Lisa
Cast: Fritzi Eichhorn, Floriane Eichhorn, Heiner Lauterbach, Corinna Harfouch, Hanns Zischler, Hans Werner Meyer
Seen on: 30.8.2016

Plot:
Charlie (Fritzi Eichhorn) grew up with her father Wolf (Heiner Lauterbach), while Louise (Floriane Eichhorn) grew up with her mother Sabine (Corinna Harfouch). By chance they meet at a summer camp in Scotland – and after taking an initial dislike to each other, they realize that their parents have been lying to them all their lives and that they’re actually twins. Of course they are both curious to meet the parent they don’t know, so they decide to switch places with each other after their return. And maybe they’ll have a chance to bring their parents back together.

I really loved the movie when I was a kid (I’m reasonably certain that I saw it in the cinema when it came out and I saw it many times since then), but it’s been many years since I actually watched it. Rewatching it now together with my nieces who are just about the right age was a really nice experience, although the film is definitely geared towards kids more than towards adults.

charlielouise Continue reading