Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|All My Loved Ones|
Actors: Rupert Graves, Josef Abrhám, Jirí Bartoska, Libuse Safránková, Hanna Dunowska
Director: Matej Minac
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Military & War
Matej Minac's heartbreaking and poignant story of one family's experience at the onset of World War II is inspired by the heroics of English stockbroker Nicholas Winton who saved hundreds of Czech Jewish children from the ... more »
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All My Loved Ones
Emmy M | Madison, WI United States | 01/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All My Loved Ones is the story of a young Czech boy named David Silberstein and his large 'family'. At the start of the movie, we meet David's family, such as his best friend Sosha. During the course of the movie, we see how, little by little, the nazis begin to take control of the Jews life, starting with small things such as cars, and working up to David's father's (Dr. Silberstein) job. At long last, The Silbersteins make a last attempt to save David by putting him up for adoption in Great Britain, thanks to English stockbroker Nicholas Winton, who saved hundreds of children through this method.
This movie is very historically accurate, and is also a very good story.
But, I must warn you, be ready to cry your heart out!!!"
Another Poignant View of the Holocaust from Prague
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Writer Jirí Hubac and Director Matej Minac have created a fine and very different approach to the Holocaust stories of WW II - its insidious origins and relentless destruction of a beautiful Czech family - in the film 'Vsichni moji blízcí' ('All My Loved Ones'). Though the subject matter has been treated in countless films, this relating of the story of a large, happy, well adjusted family in Prague and its gradual disintegration does not dwell on atrocities of the camps but instead slowly unwinds the story of how Hitler's masterplan overtook and crushed so many innocent people.
The Silbersteins include a physician and his wife and son, a brother who is a gypsy of sorts, another brother who is a concert violinist and falls in love with a non-Jew, accepted by his family but eventually rejected by her and her family because of the pogrom, and all manner of extended family circling in the warmth of the good life in 1939. Very gradually the Nazis take over the Czech borders, not really heeded by the Silbersteins ('no one could be as mad as Hitler may seem') and gradually the evacuation and genocide of the Jews begins. Dr Silberstein is introduced to an American Nicholas Winton (Rupert Graves) who has come to Prague to save the children by providing them safe transport to America. The Silbersteins reluctantly release their son when they see that is his only hope for survival: the remainder of the family's future is doomed. The rest of the film deals primarily with the homage to Winton, showing the real man and the many of the 600 children he rescued. It is deeply moving.
The color and camera work is elegant and very much in keeping with the film's emphasis on the dignity of the Silberstein family. The acting by this Czech troupe is excellent, never cloying, always sensitive to the very human response to the black cloud of the Third Reich's Holocaust. In every way this is a film to treasure. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, September 05"
An important story
Anyechka | Rensselaer, NY United States | 12/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film opens and closes with footage from a Czech news program in 1998, talking about Righteous Gentile Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children from the Nazis in the late Thirties, and reuniting him with some of those very children he saved, who are now old. He would have saved even more than that had WWII not broken out in September of 1939, as he had had plenty of more names of children to be saved and transported to safety on his lists. However, to save these children, Mr. Winton had to convince their parents to do the unthinkable, to say goodbye to them and send them away on a train alone, to a strange new country (England), where they didn't speak the language, didn't know anybody, and would be taken into the homes of strange families they had never met. One of those 669 children was David Silberstein, whom we meet in this film. His parents, Jakub and Irma, have a comfortable, rather privileged life (his father is a doctor, after all), and a big happy family. David's other loved ones include his older sister Hedvica, who is always going to the movies to make out with her boyfriend (later husband) Robert, who works as a projectionist, his uncle Leo, who is a cantor, his uncle Sam, who is a successful violinist, his uncle Max, who is somewhat of an itinerant wanderer, rather like a Gypsy, and his best friend Sosha Klein, his childhood sweetheart (a rather cute little girl). Like most families in Europe at the time, the Silbersteins too think that what's happening in Nazi Germany won't happen in a civilised place like Czechoslovakia, even after the Germans invade their homeland and gradually start making life harder for them. However, since this film takes place entirely in the late Thirties, and is told through the eyes of a child, we never see anything very bad happening. Things did not really start to get really bad in Czechoslovakia for a few years more; most Czech Jews were still living in their own houses, even with increasing persecution and restrictions, until 1942. The bad things that happen are things like the Silbersteins' car getting taken by Nazis, a little German boy throwing a knife into one of their trees over and over again, and Uncle Sam's beautiful young Gentile fiancée Alenka (who is about half his age) breaking the engagement because of pressure from her father and because, as Sam puts it, her fear was stronger than her love.
The main focus of the film is the happy normal life this family enjoys just prior to the end of innocence, making it a more subtle portrayal of these years than one normally expects from such films. Many films about these years seem to start with normal life but then move into more and more horror and sadness, but not so here. It also moves back and forth between the respective characters instead of putting all of the focus on the storyline of Nicholas Winton convincing Irma and Jakub to make the arrangements so David can be put on one of the trains going to safety in England before it's too late. That storyline only really comes into focus towards the end of the film, when Uncle Sam introduces his friend Mr. Winton to his brother and sister-in-law, urging them to save David, even if they may be convinced nothing bad is going to happen to them and find it foolish to try to leave their homeland just because their people are being persecuted yet again.
Though this film does move a bit slowly, and may annoy some viewers by how it jumps back and forth between the different characters and their storylines instead of staying focused on one main plot, this kind of cinematic approach can work very effectively at really drawing the viewer into the story unfolding, making him or her truly care about these different characters and what happens to them. I only wish that there have been some kind of epilogue, even with just text on the screen, telling us about the respective fates of David's loved ones, even knowing that David was the sole survivor of his family. It kind of leaves the viewer hanging, wondering what exactly happened to them after the war began, if they tried to leave or go into hiding, how long they survived, if Robert and Hedvica went through with it and tried to cross into Slovakia, just about the only safe border that was left, to fulfill their dream of going to Palestine, and if their baby were a boy or a girl. The film really ends just as the viewer is really getting involved in these people's lives. My only other problem was how, on the back of the DVD, the blurb actually twice says "The Silberstein's" when clearly it meant "The Silbersteins." It's so embarrassing when errors like this make their way into print, since it only encourages people who genuinely think that an apostrophe makes a word plural, and other just-as-basic grammatical errors that no one out of elementary school should still be making. Extras include a number of trailers, photo galleries, and filmographies for Rupert Graves (Nicholas Winton) and Josef Abrhám (Dr. Jakub Silberstein)."
Milan Burian | Australia | 09/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The film's staccato rhythm as it jumps between different characters and their stories is frustrating, and its techniques (e.g., slow motion to suggest emotional weight) are sometimes dated. But it offers a glimpse of the Solomonic decision facing Jewish parents in those turbulent times: to save their children and yet to lose them. And it traces a sustained and moving portrait of the worldly Sam, whose despair as the society he embraced abandons him is both clear-eyed and devastating.