Divided We Fall
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Lost in all the well-deserved hype about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, were four other films nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.  One of the other nominees was the Czech film, Divided We Fall.  This film is in Czech and German with subtitles.  This is just one of the many films, TV shows and books that seem to have appeared recently that deal with World War II and the Holocaust.  Divided We Fall is somewhat reminiscent of The Diary of Anne Frank.  It follows the lives of people living in a small town in Czechoslovakia during World War II.  Before the war, the characters including Jews and Germans lived and worked together but after the outbreak of the war everything is turned topsy turvy.  At the center of the film are a man and his wife who end up hiding a Jewish man whose family they knew and worked for before the war.  Another Czech who is an ethnic German and who also used to work for the same company is now an important man in the town as he is working for the Germans.  Although married himself, he is infatuated with the wife and constantly turns up on her doorstep for surprise visits. From the trailer and what I heard about this film, I was expecting another semi-comedy about the Holocaust a la Life is Beautiful or Jakob The Liar.  But although it has its funny moments, Divided We Fall is a well-acted drama.  In particular, Bolek Polivka who plays the husband, is amazingly good as a man who would rather be taking a nap but is forced to balance trying to do the right thing with his terror of being caught and executed.  Divided We Fall gives a very good view of small town life in Czechoslovakia during the war and how people's loyalties change and change again in response to the tide of events.  The rest of the cast is good too but what makes this movie worth watching is Polivka and how he deals with the events that are boiling around him.   From what I read, Polivka may be the Robin Williams of the Czech Republic but he makes Divided We Fall a far better film to rent than Jakob The Liar.