Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Edges of the Lord|
Actors: Haley Joel Osment, Willem Dafoe, Liam Hess, Richard Banel, Olaf Lubaszenko
Director: Yurek Bogayevicz
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
Haley Joel Osment (SECONDHAND LIONS, A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, THE SIXTH SENSE) and Willem Dafoe (THE AVIATOR, SPIDER-MAN 1 & 2) star in EDGES OF THE LORD, an inspiring and enthralling story that's seen through the eye... more »
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A Quiet Little Film with a Thundering Impact
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"EDGES OF THE LORD is a film that, once seen, creates in the viewer the need to call every friend and recommend their seeing it. As conceived and directed by Yurek Bogayevicz and by using primarily a Polish cast shot on location in various areas of Poland, this film appears to be a simple tale of courage of a young Jewish boy Romek (Haley Joel Osment) whose parents wisely see the encroaching genocide by the Nazis and out of love, teach their son the basics of Catholicism so that Romek can pass as a Catholic and be placed with a Catholic family in order to save him from the Nazi exterminations.
Romek lands with a family whose children include an older child Vladek (Richard Banel) and a younger Tolo (Liam Hess). The family understands that Romek is a Jew and even the young children incorporate that fact into their cohabitation. The village priest (Willem Dafoe) likewise takes Romek under his wing and in a touching scene while the priest is cutting the 'hosts' for Catholic communion from a wafer sheet, he tells Romek that the uneven portions are the 'edges of the Lord' and therefore Romek may eat them as a Jew without betraying his own religious beliefs.
The boys are part of a circle of preadolescent friends which includes one girl Maria (Ola Frycz) who slowly warms to Romek. In the priest's cataclysm class the children are assigned roles as Apostles and Tolo assumes the identity of Jesus. It is this assumption of the life of Jesus (sneaking a crown of rose thorns under his cap, tying himself to a tree ('cross'), and ultimately making a sacrifice for Romek in imitation of Christ's mission) that provides some of the more exquisitely beautiful moments in this lovely film.
The story can be watched and absorbed on many levels: the effect of the atrocities of the Nazi occupation on Polish Jews, the sanctity of the family unit and the terror of living in an occupied country in the time of war, the delicate line children tread to become adults, the inhumanity of man as contrasted to the profound humanity of man - all of these threads are woven into this Polish tapestry of tremendous emotional impact.
While the performances by Osment and Dafoe are expectedly fine, the roles of the Polish actors - especially the incandescent Liam Hess as Tolo - are extraordinary. This is truly a masterful work that deserves a very wide audience. Highly Recommended! Grady Harp, January 2005"
Edges of the Lord
Richard A. Patton | Ormond Beach, FL United States | 01/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished viewing this picture, ORDER IT TODAY! It's rated "R", but we watched it with our children, to help them to understand the evil of that time in world history. To reinforce the drive to avoid this at all costs. We wanted to be there to answer the question that inevitably comes up, "why are they so mean".
Buy this picture and view your self, but don't pass it up. It was released in Poland 2 years ago, but not in the US until now, thank you for having the courage to do this.
This is yet another triumph for Haley Joel Osment, this young man has the ability to turn you on and off like a switch. Haley where does you talent end, each picture is better than the last? Please, please keep up the outstanding work. I felt that the subplots weaving thought the picture were just perfect, the Priest who handed Haley an unblessed wafer at their first communion, (he understood that the boy did not feel comfortable and made it possible for him to continue his disguise), the your girl who wanted the have sex with him, the youngest brother how believes he is the Christ, and wants to suffer and die to return the world to where it was before the war,and many more. You will want to watch this one 3, 4 or more times.
As a Jew I found his performance string and stunning. The plot set against Word War II and Nazi occupation of Poland brings on memories of the holocaust, people murdered in cold blood, the trains, Oh those trains of helpless Jews going to their death. The youngest boy, Liam Hess; when he was put on that train to die, the tears rolled down my cheek. I pray that we shall NEVER see such a thing happen again. This is one of the most powerful holocaust pictures I have ever seen it is as powerful as "The Pianist" and "Schindler's List", It must be seen to be believed.
A Film That Is Both Moving And Challenging
Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 11/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I made this selection based by "judging the book by its cover" so to speak. I saw Haley Joel Osmont on the cover, saw William Dafoe as a priest, quickly read the summary on the back and took no notice of the rating. I expected a kindly story about a young Jewish boy "rescued" by Christians in Poland during World War II and expected it to be moving and probably perfect for family viewing. Well, all I needed was one viewing to know I made wrong assumption, but making this wrong assumption and expecting a different film may be why this film moved me so.
The film tells the story of Romek, played by Osmont, who is sent to the Polish countryside to avoid being captured by the Nazis. The village may be remote, but it is hardly immune to the World War that is taking place. Romek has the expected scuffles with the village's children but eventually find his place. Yet he also experiences the horrors that cannot be avoided in such a story.
Perhaps what makes this film outstanding is that it is not a typical Holocaust survival film. The film accurately portrays the moral ambiguities that were very much a part of life during the Second World War, especially for Europeans. We see a different type of Catholicism, not the often stereotypes Catholicism that is all too often seen in films, but the unique strain of Polish Catholicism. There is plenty of conflict in the film on many different levels. There are tensions between Romek and the other children that are typical of children's interactions, yet we also know that some of the conflicts are at a deeper level when people suspect why Romek is living in the village. We see the atrocities of war, but we see it through the beautiful acting and writing of the film and not through graphic gimmicks.
There are a number of elements in this film that will catch the viewer by surprise and in the end, make the viewer think. It is worth watching and without question will cause the viewer to think about the bravery of so many during the Second World War, the atrocities that were all too much a part of it, and how easily we can take human rights for granted. Yet surprisingly, while it can have all these elements, and not have the happiest of endings, it is in the end uplifting because in its own way, the human spirit triumphs.
One of the best films ever made
MZ | Poland | 11/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The movie is as powerful as 'The Pianist' and 'Schindler's List'. It deals with children losing their innocence during the Second World War. The plot is excellent and the acting is superb (we have here not only Haley Joel Osment, but also another very talented young actor - Liam Hess; the Polish children did an excellent job as well).
I am a Pole and I am proud that such a good movie was shot in Poland, as Polish-American co-production. The crew itself is a mixture of Polish, British and American people - this fact itself makes the movie interesting to see.
I am happy that the movie has finally reached the States (in Poland it was issued on DVD two years ago)."