Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wunderkinder

Director: Marcus Rosenmüller

Starring: Imogen Burrell, Elin Kolev, Mathilda Adamik, Gudrun Landgrebe, Catherine H. Flemming, Kai Wiesinger, Konstantin Wecker

A moving and absorbing drama set in the village of Poltava in central Ukraine during 1941 just as the Germans invade Russia. Told in flashback the Jewish children Larissa Brodsky (Imogen Burrell) and Abrascha Kaplan (Elin Kolev) form a pact with Hanna Reich (Mathilda Adamik), the daughter of a wealthy German brewer. Abrascha is a gifted violist, Larissa plays the piano and Hanna plays the violin, and all share the same teacher, Irina (Gudrun Landgrebe), who is Jewish. Hanna’s mother Helga (Catherine H. Flemming) disapproves of fraternizing with the Jewish children but her father Max (Kai Wiesinger) is more enlightened. Initially because of the close connection of their children ( Wunderkinder0, the two Jewish families bravely provide shelter for the Reich family but when the Nazis reach Poltava and begin deporting Jews, Max Reich tries to save as many as he can. Good performances including a chilling portrayal of SS Colonel Schartow by Konstantin Wecker who forces the two Jewish kids literally play for their lives. Excellent score in this movie dedicated to the 1.5 million Jewish children who died in the Holocaust.

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