985 Europa Europa

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

985 Europa Europa

#1 Post by swo17 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:49 pm

Europa Europa

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As World War II splits Europe, sixteen-year-old German Jew Salomon (Marco Hofschneider) is separated from his family after fleeing with them to Poland, and finds himself reluctantly assuming various ideological identities in order to hide the deadly secret of his Jewishness. He is bounced from a Soviet orphanage, where he plays a dutiful Stalinist, to the Russian front, where he hides in plain sight as an interpreter for the German army, and back to his home country, where he takes on his most dangerous role: a member of the Hitler Youth. Based on the real-life experiences of Salomon Perel, Agnieszka Holland's wartime tour de force Europa Europa is a breathless survival story told with the verve of a comic adventure, an ironic refutation of the Nazi idea of racial purity, and a complex portrait of a young man caught up in shifting historical calamities and struggling to stay alive.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

• New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Agnieszka Holland, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary from 2008 featuring Holland
• New interviews with Holland and actor Marco Hofschneider
• New video essay by film scholar Annette Insdorf
• New English subtitle translation
• PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin

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TMDaines
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester

Re: 984 Europa Europa

#2 Post by TMDaines » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:48 pm

Should be some upgrade over the Arrow DVD.

Close The Door, Raymond
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:33 pm

Re: 984 Europa Europa

#3 Post by Close The Door, Raymond » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:47 pm

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

New 2K digital restoration, supervised by director Agnieszka Holland, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Audio commentary from 2008 featuring Holland
New interviews with Holland and actor Marco Hofschneider
New video essay by film scholar Annette Insdorf
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: An essay by critic Amy Taubin
The audio commentary seems to be from Arrow's DVD (UK exclusive) release.

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: 984 Europa Europa

#4 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:51 am

It is quite amusing that both this and 1984 are released in the same month as they are both about superficial conformity whilst concealing fundamental aspects of yourself just to survive, and the toll that constant concealment takes on the individual. The whole film is about the notion of being forcibly inducted into becoming a part of something without any conscious choice on your part (whether Judaism or Nazism: the bris done before any chance to consent and no particular choice about having the uniquely 'Aryan look' either), with the queasy thrill of feeling a sense of group identity and being able to manufacture yourself over and over to better match the needs of the society around you at a particular moment in time that is constantly being given an heightened frisson by the threat of the alternate identity (the past) being uncovered.

It is a film dealing with some really complicated ideas of purely doing whatever necessary to ensure survival against being aware of all of the different facets that make you 'you' (internal and external; upbringing and environment; the wider societal ideology being confirmed or negated through individual encounters; the difference between relationships and allegiances) and weighing up how much you are prepared to give up before you become someone else entirely. How complicit can you be? Is compromising half way opening up to new experiences that mean you experience life in that state more intensely than even the most committed members of either hegemony? But also run the risk of corruption and actual full assimilation if the 'façade' you create becomes too seductive? Or do you have to remain rigid and unwavering in your internal belief system whatever the ideology, wherever your life leads you, because a world without clear heroes and villains (aggressors and victims) runs the risk of everything becoming morally grey?

It is also why despite the triumphant voice over ending I get a real sense of ambivalence from the idea of going to the promised land and making sure that every generation proudly bear their own marks to ensure a sense of continuity of group identity. Is that as reductive as the situation going on in the rest of the film, in some ways?

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