EUROPA, EUROPA is one of the most tender stories to come out of the films that deal with WW II. Based on the autobiographical book by Solomon Perel and adapted for the screen by Paul Hengge and director Agnieszka Holland it is a tale of how far a child will go to honor his promise to his father to survive. Solomon Perel (Marco Hofschneider) is a young Jewish boy when the war breaks out and as the Jews are being gathered for deportation to the camps, his father makes him promise he will do anything to survive. And survive he does - by adopting the personage of a German Aryan (non-Jew), even to the point of spending days physically trying to reverse his telltale circumcision. He becomes involved with the Hitler's Youth, adopts the life of a Nazi and, despite a few slips with people who discover his identity, he manages to survive the war. He not only survives but also falls in love with a perfect German girl Leni (Judy Delphy), excels in the school for Hitler's Youth, and is so popular that even the commandant wants to adopt him. But in time the war is over and he goes to the concentration camps looking for his family. The measure of despair and joy that happen as he reunites with his brother is one of those memorable moments in time.
Marco Hoschneider is exceptional in this film, but much of the success of the movie goes to the director Agnieszka Holland who manages to find juts the right amount of harsh reality and lighten it with moments of human frailty to make the film wholly credible. Composer Zbigniew Preisner provides the atmospheric and memorable musical score. Grady Harp, 2010
"Europa, Europa" Life, Love, Redemption Amos Lassen Salamon Perel, a German Jew, is the hero of "Europa, Europa", one of the finest films I have ever seen. It beautifully captures what goes on in the mind of an adolescent as he searches for an identity after the infamous Kristallnacht. Even without the background of Nazi Germany, this is a film that deals with a universal theme. Here is a true story of luck, incredible … more
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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This wonderful film by Polish director Agnieszka Holland (Total Eclipse), based on an autobiography by Solomon Perel, concerns a Jewish-German boy who manages to conceal his identity from the Nazis and ends up a member of their Youth Party. An admirably full experience, the film is both black comedy and horror show, with the central character taking the full measure of everyone's perspective on the war and Nazi crimes.--Tom Keogh