Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Arnost Lustig, Jan Weiner
Director: Amir Bar-Lev
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Educational, Documentary, Military & War
Fighter follows two men, Jan Weiner and Arnost Lustig, on a road trip into the past. Both men are survivors of Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia who now live in the US and are respected university professors. At the invi... more »
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Fascinating and superb!
Eduardo Nietzsche | Houston | 07/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On the surface, this doesn't sound like all that interesting of a documentary: 2 old men in their 70s retrace a journey one of them made during World War II through Europe.
Zoom in a little, and you see that it was not just any journey, it was one man's escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Jan Weiner wanted to join the British to fight against his homeland's occupiers. He succeeded, returned to Prague after the war, only to be persecuted and imprisoned by the Communists there a few years later, after which he emigrated to the US where he lives today.
The other old man is Arnold Lustig, a distinguished Czech writer and fellow Czech Jew who survived a Nazi concentration camp and stayed in Czechoslovakia all the way up to the present. Not only that, but Lustig was a member of the Communist Party though he joined out of genuine naivete/idealism and stayed in it mainly out of economic and social convenience, like the majority of members.
Weiner is a highly spirited, passionate and pugnacious man; Lustig is also very young for his years but is more of the playful, ironic and detached intellectual. Both men carry the film effortlessly with their own anecdotes, descriptions, and sheer force of personality...and their quickly developing antagonism towards each other which blows up near the end and cuts short the trip.
Two fascinating characters, some beautiful and fascinating places, and the timeless clash between the spirit of the fighter versus the spirit of the survivor, between rage and forgiveness, holding on and letting go.
I was very sad when the two men parted and the film ended...there was a lot more to explore underneath the surface, if only Weiner could've put up with it."