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Tale of Redemption and the Spirit of Life This movie is a cinematic rendering of Primo Levi's diary of how he traveled back to Turin Italy after spending over one year in Auschwitz. Some parts of it are too sentimentalized and others don't truly show the conditions as they were just after the war.
The Auschwitz camp was way to neat and clean, and the flashback scenes were did not convey the brutality of the camps. That aside, the rest of the movie is well done and thought out. The cinematic ambiance was spot on and the dilemma that awaited the 'survivors' is well explained.
It is hard to make this type of movie because you can either cartoonize the 'bad guys' and over romanticize the good guys. Turturro does a great low key performance of Primo Levi (who was a very shy and reticent personality) that closely follows his book (the Truce or Reawakening) in story and feel. It's just difficult to watch some of the side characters especially the "Greek" and the "Clown". They don't always add to the story and their actions seem to have lost something in 'the translation'.
But, all in all a good film.
Zeb KantrowitzA touching account of a survivor's journey home Primo Levi, the Italian chemist, Auschwitz survivor and renowned author of works like "Survival in Auschwitz" was an amazing person, a true survivor who refused to forget the horrors that he had endured in Auschwitz and ensured that the world would know of Nazi atrocities through his writing.
In 'The Truce", based on Primo Levi's own experiences, actor John Turturro [in a stirring performance] brings to life the long journey undertaken by Levi from liberation [from Auschwitz by the Red Army] to his home in Turin, Italy. This is a unique Holocaust movie, in that it deals with the aftermath of the camps, and focusses on a survivor's journey home, with all the horrors of war still very much on his mind, and of the uncertainties he faces - will there be a home to return to? What of his family? and so on.
I found the movie, driven by Turturro's amazingly understated performance, to be both compelling and emotionally wrenching. Turturro's Levi is silent most times, conveying his emotions and feelings more with his eyes [the pain in those eyes!] than with words, and I felt this was justifiably so [how does one put into words all the pain that one feels and has endured?] - there's a scene where Levi tries to sell a shirt in a public square to earn money for food. Everyone around him stares at him and he wonders why. A gentleman tells him its because of his camp uniform with its markings, and when Levi tells the man to translate and inform the people that he was a Jew imprisoned in Auschwitz, the man refuses, translating instead that Levi was a political prisoner, saying "people want to forget". This was a credible scene, and reflected the attitude of the general public in Germany, other parts of Europe and the world at the time - most wanted to just get on with life and didn't want to know or remember the horrors of the Holocaust or the war.
Though the movie deals with Levi's journey home, we are reminded of the horrors he has endured with a few flashbacks to the time he was in the camps [albeit briefly]. Yet, there are lighthearted moments, such as a scene where the Russians are celebrating the end of the war and everyone including Levi and other refugees are gathered in the barracks - the song "Cheek to Cheek" plays on the gramophone and the survivors, men and women start glancing at each other and with trepidation start to dance in pairs. It is a heartwrenching moment, and also uplifting for despite the horrors, the intense desire to live and experience joy is very much present.
This is a tale of a man's journey 'home' - and finding hope along the way, hope that overrides despair. Highly recommended!interesting movie about back to home very different approach to war cinema...congratulations to the director and the cast...they've told the story of back to home after war in a very different way...Primo's odyssey back to the living . . . "God does not exist, if Aushwitz exists," says Primo on the train. Truce shows something else . . . how a man's soul cannot be destroyed. Truce is a travelogue through the chaos of post war Europe. Beginning in Aushwitz, Primo and has band of brothers traverse the wilds of Poland, Russia, and, finally, Munich en route to their home. Their souls are slowly reborn. They find love, compassion and a simple appreciation of nature before landfall in Italy. By chance, by laugh, they complete their journey from death to life. The only negative(a small one) in this movie was the use of voice over narration by Primo. The visuals tell the story; the voice over narration was unwarranted. I would have liked to have seen more of Primo Levi beginning his life in Turin, but this would have been a different odyssey. Unrealistic Having read most of the reviews in relation to "The Truce" - I think I am going to find myself in a minority of one.
I bought this DVD because I thought that the storyline was interesting and because of the good reviews.
However,having now watched it twice I found that most of the acting and the scenarios defided credibility.
Right from the start when we saw the alledged inmates of Auschwitz virtually running to the open gates - a situation which,to anyone who has seen original footage of the liberation by the Russians,would know that,most of the unfortunate inmates could hardly stand let alone run.This immediately struck an un-realistic chord.Shortly afterwards we are introduced to a large Greek gentleman(with the boots)- a totally unbelievable character,with an OTT performance by the actor concerned,played more as a caricature rather than an actual character - and there were numerous others who were just not convincing.In fact the main character (Primo) was the one performance which was excellent and believable,who did convey the fact that he had just come from Auschwitz,most of the others gave the impression that they had just come from a holiday camp.
Also there were too many musical pieces in the film,which gave me the impression that the director wasn't sure whether to go for serious drama or a semi- musical.(At times I almost expected Topol to come in singing "If I was a rich man" or similar!)The scene with the swords-man dancing to "Cheek to Cheek" was one such case and rather pointless.
The plus-points of the film were the superb photography,the fact that,as some other reviewer mentioned,sub-titles were not used when many of the different nationalities were encountered "en-route",which did convey the difficulties in making one-self understood,plus,as already mentioned,the excellent performance by the main character Primo.
The thing is though,with any film,unless you are regarding it as pure escapism - you need to believe what you are watching,and this was not the case with this film.As already mentioned,there were too many un-believable characters and too many un-likely scenarios which was a great shame as the basic story could have been made into a good film,but it needed to be under-played NOT over-played.
If you are the sort of person who can just accept that whatever you are seeing portrayed is true and life-like, you may enjoy this(plus any John Wayne war films!)- but to me it was totally un-convincing.
I am aware it was based on a true story and,if all the incidents in the film did truly happen,I am convinced that they didn't happen quite as portrayed in the film.
"The Pianist" is so much better,my advise,buy that instead.