Monday, September 9, 2013


Cine Europa 16
Cinema 2, Shang Cineplex

From the Czech Republic comes this tale set in a Nazi occupied small town about a childless couple trying to make ends meet during the war.  As if that is not hard enough, Marie and Josef Cizek decide to hide a young Jewish man. David is the son of Josef's former employer.  Fortunately, he was able to escape from a concentration camp where the rest of his family perished. 

These are troubled times and the couple try to keep a semblance of normalcy in their community. Of course, it isn't easy because nosy colleagues and gossipy neighbors are always on the look out for anything suspicious in their neighborhood. The secrecy is also posing a threat to their marriage and their inability to conceive.

The movie has a vintage vibe to it even though it was filmed only in 2001. The cast do their best to essay their characters, realistically. Their varied emotions as well as their distinct behaviors are very characteristic of people living under so much pressure. 

The plot authentically presents the full impact of living under occupation. Collaborators were also quite common as certain enterprising individuals chose to help the 'enemy'. It is difficult to phantom what motivates a person to 'side' with the occupying forces yet I also understand it is a simple case of survival.  This issue isn't tackled at length but only in passing towards the end of this film yet for me it was the most poignant part.

Nevertheless, "Divided We Fall" is still a provocative film about the Nazi occupation in a small Czech town.  It has its fair share of dramatic moments along with funny situations just like real life!

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