Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Elisabeth Trissenaar, Wojciech Pszoniak, Gerd Baltus, Anita Höfer
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
This remarkable Academy Award-nominated film by renowned filmmaker Agnieszka Holland (Europa, Europa) tells a compelling story of love and desire during World War II. Middle-aged, lonely farmer Leon (Armin Mueller-Stahl, A... more »
Beautiful, sad movie... Graced with absolution and hope at t
dooby | 10/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a lovely but sad movie. It is set in German-occupied Silesia (western Poland) during the Second World War. It centres around a shy, middle-aged Polish bachelor of German descent. After years spent working as a stablehand for an upper-class Polish family, he has finally become a prosperous farmer and landowner in his own right. With the Germanisation of Silesia, his fortunes rise even more, while those of others around him sink. He is ambivalent about the question of Jews. He is a good Catholic, goes to Mass regularly and is a law-abiding, God-fearing man. He doesn't like seeing his Jewish friends and neighbours being rounded up, but he does not feel any personal responsibility in helping. He is a physical and moral coward. When he is given a chance to profit from their misfortune, he initially balks, resorts to rationalising and then quietly goes along; Why not? If not him, someone else would.
Then out of the blue, a Jewish woman arrives, having escaped from a train taking her and her family to the Death Camp. She has been separated from her husband and daughter who are also on the run. He hides her in the cellar and falls for her. Even as he goes out of his way to protect her, he continues to let down and betray his other friends, both Jews and Poles alike. And even with his Jewish runaway, his actions are less than pure. He is, in the end, like most of us, a coward at heart, and driven by self-interest. The irony comes at the end, when in his grief at losing everything, he is hailed as a hero by a stranger whose life he touched only briefly and for whom, for once he did the decent and selfless thing.
This beautiful film from Polish director Agnieszka Holland is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio (Fullscreen). Picture quality is good, with strong, natural colours, deep black levels, and practically no dirt or damage. There is fine grain throughout but this is not a problem. The original German 1.0 Mono track is provided. Sound is perfectly acceptable and dialogue is crytal clear. Optional English subtitles are provided. There are absolutely no extras. Not even a leaflet or insert."
Right thing for the wrong reasons . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 09/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This unsettling film retells the story of the Holocaust in a way that challenges history's usual accounts of a citizenry largely unaware and therefore innocent of Nazi genocide. Providing sanctuary for a Jewish woman, a well-to-do farmer on the German-Polish border makes her a prisoner of his own. Son of peasants and an earnest Roman Catholic, his attempts to be a God-fearing man represent a twisted contortion of the gospel's central message of Christian charity - to love one another. Intent on converting his prisoner to Christianity, he also has designs on making her his wife.
Meanwhile, he benefits with only a slightly mixed conscience from the Nazi's confiscation of Jewish property and agrees with little conviction to assist the efforts of the Resistance. In the end, the moral compromises he makes lead to tragic consequences that cannot be erased by his last minute attempt to absolve himself. Adding further to his culpability are the efforts of his captive to save herself by playing for time and indulging his mixed motives. The ironies of the final scene, in which his story is rewritten, provide little consolation for him or us, and we are left to ponder the impact of choices made in self-interest."
Randy Keehn | Williston, ND United States | 12/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have come to appreciate the nominees (and winners) of the Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film as a source of some great movies. "Angry Harvest" is another example of why that is. "Angry Harvest" is a Holocaust-related movie with a unigue approach. It focusses on the life of a middle-aged, well-to-do, bachelor Polish farmer who finds his life disrupted by the sudden appearance of a Jewish refugee. His dilemna is what to do with her but, being a good Christian, he realizes he cannot turn her away. The movie focuses on their interdependent yet independent relationship. The ending to "Angry Harvest" is quite impressive although we end up having gone through quite an emotional ringer in getting there.
What has impressed me in general with European Holocaust movies is the absence the "hero". Generally, American dramatic movies seem to require either a hero or anti-hero. In movies such as "Angry Harvest" we are better able to grasp the somber reality of the situation by being spared that requirement. Leon and Rosa, our two main characters, have obvious faults, obvious needs, and not-so-obvious gifts. They cannot change the world but they can make a bad situation somewhat better for awhile at least. In a world gone mad, just surviving a little longer is an accomplishment. The Holocaust is not a subject where good guys win and bad guys lose. "Angry Harvest" is as close as it gets to a happy ending."
Under such infernal circumstances of death and horror, any h
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 09/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Agniezka Holland has been probably the major female filmmaker all over the world since the last two decades.
And this film confirms it. From the countless dramatic testimonials, emerges this crude story. During the German occupation of Poland, a Christian farmer saves a young Jewish woman; their resulting relationship in the middle of the hellish horror becomes an interdependent love and the expected terror, final product of this state of things that will end in tragedy.
Armin Müller Sthal once more establishes with this powerful performance, why he was by then one of the
top actors in the world.