Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rent This!!

Last night (our weekly movie night) we rented this film. If you're in the mood for a little light-weight pass time, this is not your movie. But if you are interested in a piece of history - amazing history at that, you've got to see this.

It opens with some actual footage from a dark time in our world's history: Hitler and his awful obsession to obliterate from the earth every last man, woman and child who were of Jewish descent. His despicable SS army, bent on mowing down an entire nation of people, were merciless and seemingly born without a heart.

Now the remarkable part about this movie is that it is a true story. It is based on the book of the same name written by Nechama Tec about four Jewish brothers who escape the Nazis shortly after their parents are massacred on their family farm. The fourth brother is no more than a boy, but the three older brothers assume leadership of a band of Jews who escape the Nazis and fight back from the camps that they build deep within a forest.

This movie will stay with you - probably because the undertaking of leading an eventual 1200 Jews (including children and old folks) to safety from the Nazis was such an amazing feat. The group spent several years in the forest, eventually building a school and other facilities within their hiding place.

It's a violent movie, no doubt about that, as was the time period that was World War II. We probably aren't reminded of this time in history as often as we should be. It was certainly not something we wish to remember except to know that even today such genocide takes place in various parts of the world and we're left to wonder who will stop the carnage. But this era of extermination was probably far worse than anything that's taken place before or since.

To grasp the concept of the snuffing out of six million Jewish lives, think of the entire San Francisco Bay Area. That's roughly the population here. Think of those murdered men, women and children next time you find yourself in a major traffic jam. At a crowded mall at Christmas time. If all of those masses of people stuck on the freeways or crowded into a mall (multiplied hundreds of times over) were lined up and shot (falling into the mass graves they'd been forced to dig themselves) or led into large warehouse-like buildings - thinking they were there for cleansing - but instead were killed by a lethal gas. It gives us some idea of the magnitude of Hitler's atrocities.

And on that last, sad note, I do urge you to rent this movie. It is hauntingly brilliant.


  1. How funny, we saw this a couple weeks ago and was going to tell you to rent it b/c I thought you guys would like it. Another one we saw was Bottle Shock and think you and dad would like it. It's a true story about a winery in Napa.

  2. Wow - you really do our taste - did you and Rob like this movie? I hadn't heard of Bottle Shock but will definitely rent it. Thanks for the tip :)