Friday, June 27, 2014

Europa Europa - A Film to Remember

I simply loved this film. It gives insight to the horrifying life the Jews faced while evading the Germans in World War II, yet also, shows the outstanding courage and wit of a young boy and his drive to survive. I think the film is brilliant all around, from the colors, the actors, the plot line- all cleverly crafted in order to engage the audience, while still educating and raising awareness of the Holocaust-era. For example, the movie uses natural plot twists that convey the differing personalities of German versus Russian soldiers. Germans give empathy and support to other "Germans" such as Solly, yet despise any other race, while the Russians would have killed Josef on the spot, being "German," if it were not for Isaac, the brother and refugee that the Russians liberated, that recognized his brother as a Jew. The movie also does a fantastic job of sharing the atrocities of concentration camps, and the rights that were taken from all Jews that were within Germany's reach. One example (or rather a few examples), would be the right to property and privacy that was violated at the mere beginning of the war. Solly and his family were raided in their home- property destroyed... along with Solly's sister. The story continues, taking more rights as well as ultimately ostracizing and dehumanizing Jews. The Jews' right to freedom of, well, anything was stripped from them. Living in camps with no running water, no food to be seen, beaten, segregated from society, crumbling buildings for "shelter", Jews oftentimes shot automatically when they were found to be Jewish- all tortures of the Nazi regime seen by Solly. However, not only was there Jewish dehumanization, but also German as well. The German youth was taught to behave as if Hitler were a god- all life was because of Hitler, and all life should be devoted to him. For example, women saw Hitler as some sort of goal to be attained- a being to be worshiped. Josef saw firsthand of this brainwashing, when his new mother was beside herself with the similarities between Solly and the Furher. Women's minds had been contorted into this mode of "Furher-is-all-I-live-for" state. The ultimate goal was to please and become more like him, at the cost of being oneself, maybe another right taken from both Jews and Germans. In hindsight, Europa Europa accurately and flawlessly displays the atrocities of the Nazi take over, through the life of an inventive Jew whom tricks many to save his skin. The detail and exaggeration of the rights taken from the Jews, and sometimes Germans, that this film exhibits is awe-inspiring. I wouldn't hesitate to watch its insightful story again and again.

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