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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Inspired by a True Story

Treasure on IMDb

Plot Overview

battered crossAccording to historian J.M. Roberts,
the so-called “Final Solution” sought by Germans … was carried far enough to change the demographic map of Europe. The three and a half million Polish Jews who had made up about a tenth of the whole Jewish population of Europe in 1939 were all but obliterated. … Jews died, whether in gas-chambers and crematoria, in special extermination camps, by shootings and exterm­ination on the spot in east and south-east Europe, or from over­work, disease and hunger. (499)

apple and booksIn the winter of 1991, 36-year-old Ruth “Ruti” (Lena Dunham) daughter of holocaust survivor Edek (Stephen Fry) travels with him to Poland (“What Jew goes to Poland as a tourist?”) to get in touch with her history—her mom also a survivor had died a year earlier. Knowing she enjoys reading, Ruti's dad adds to her reading material historical works of propaganda such as say it's as reasonable to kill a Jew as it is a louse. Author Terence Ball has one of his characters positing,

“Our century,” he observed in a famous essay, “is the stage on which scripts written by earlier, and especially nine­teenth century, theorists have been acted out. The well-intended theories and fictions of an earlier age have become the all-too-real terrors of our time. We have thought and argued and marched, by and large, under the banner of their age, … of pseudo-science. The ‘scientific’ racism of Gobineau gave rise to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Marx's ‘scientific’ socialism gave rise to the Gulag. Ideas—good, bad, or banal—have consequences. And the goodness, badness, or banality of these ideas has little to do with their authors' intentions and every­thing to do with their final fruits, some of which are poisonous beyond belief, and even perhaps beyond their authors' worst imaginings.”

… Against the millenarian and utopian idea that “the crooked shall be made straight,” he liked to repeat Kant's dictum that “From the crooked timber of humanity, nothing straight can ever be made.” (41)

The ascent
of man

Civil Liberties attorney John W. Whitehead has written thus on Evolution in Practice:

Adolf Hitler (1889–1945) wrote Mein Kampf in 1923 and expressed in it his adherence to evolution in justifying genocide. … Evolutionary ideas can be seen in Hitler's wish to develop a master race and in his human breeding experiments. ¶Racism there­fore is also a sequel to evolutionary thinking, and Darwin him­self may have provided the racist element to the theory. Though the title of his book is often cited as The Origin of Species, the complete title is The Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. (58–9)

photographerchauffeurtombstoneInter­spersed with Ruti's book reading in the hotel at night are their day­time excursions escorted by taxi driver Stefan (Zbigniew Zamachowski) on which they see the sites, take pictures, and collect souvenirs. The blase ideas in those historical writings contrasted markedly with their horrific after­math w/personal narration, which places a high shock value on this slow-paced movie.



In Randall M. Miller's book on how Holly­wood views ethnic groups, he writes that Slavs are not like Jews interacting with the public in their shops, but they are often employed in-house as servants, thus out of the public's view, resulting in unfamiliarity. In the public's ignorance they're perceived as coarse and oversexed. He writes:

Slavs are … Russians, Poles, or what not—

Slavs were not as conspicuous as other immigrant groups because their work and settlement patterns were significantly different.—

Slavic women, too, had low visibility. Domestic service (cleaning) and keeping lodgers and boarders were their most popular forms of work.

The most popular Slavik image was that of the “peasant” … and, like animals, were super-fecund, with “a rather gross attitude towards sexual morality” (136–139.)

Ruth is a journalist, though not a famous one. She's a divorcee seemingly celibate since her breakup with her husband Garth who still stands in good stead with her dad. It's possible they could get back together just as it's possible she could reclaim her confis­cated family estate, though it would be a lot of trouble and they have their own separate lives now. Her father wants grand­children; this is “normal,” he says. It's some­what along the lines of what George F. Gilder has written:

Without a durable relationship with a woman, a man's sexual life is a series of brief and temporary exchanges, impelled by a desire to affirm his most rudimentary masculinity. But with love, sex becomes refined by selectivity, and other dimensions of personality are engaged and developed. The man him­self is refined, and his sexuality becomes not a mere impulse but a meaningful commitment in society, possibly to be fulfilled in the birth of specific children legally and recognizably his. (35)

Ruth and her dad meet up with female adventurers Zofia (Iwona Bielska) and Karolina (Maria Mamona.) Karolina is five times divorced and Zofia sexually liberated. She “has the sex” with Edek who tells his daughter this is normal. It's like (Prov. 30:20) “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” Ruth is a vegetarian subsisting on a diet of seeds; she need not wipe her mouth so much, but there's still the back end. In Poland TP must be purchased at the WC in short lengths. Similarly, Edek's justification for the tryst, that “We're adults,” seems to fall short. Yes, you're adults but so were the writers of all those books, and see where that got us. That the old folk make time in bed is not the worst trans­gression encountered in this film, though it still shakes out as a bad. From Italian Dante's Inferno (106) a cool spot in hell for sex offenders is remarked upon:

Have you forgotten that your Ethics states the three main dispositions of the soul that lead to those offenses Heaven hates— incontinence, malice, and bestiality? and how incontinence offends God least and earns least blame from Justice and Charity?

Production Values

” (2024) was directed by Julia von Heinz. Its screenplay was written by Julia von Heinz and John Quester, loosely based on Lilly Brett's novel, Too Many Men. It stars Lena Dunham, Stephen Fry and Zbigniew Zama­chow­ski. The actors seemed to know what they were about, but the female lead was—perhaps rightly—cast to a frumpy woman so she wouldn't appear prosperous. Gorgeous babes are easier on the eyes when viewing closeups for two hours or so. There's a compensating pan of a beauty contest, so the gents won't forsake Polish dating sites altogether.

MPA rated it R for some language. It was filmed on location in Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland. Runtime is 1 hour 52 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is a sobering drama with nightclub scenes mixed in for (protested) levity. I can't say as every­body's back­ground will allow him or her to appreciate it. It's slow getting started but develops legs towards the end.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: No action, subdued adventure. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Wake up and smell the 1990s technology. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture was quoted from the Authorized Version, Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Alighieri, Dante. The Inferno. New york: Mentor Books, 1954. Print.

Ball, Terence. Rousseau's Ghost. © 1998 State University of New York. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999. Print.

Gilder, George F. Sexual Suicide. New York: Quadrangle, 1973. Print.

Miller, Randall M. The Kaleidoscopic Lens: how Hollywood views ethnic groups. Englewood, NJ: Ozer. © 1980. Print.

Roberts, J.M. A History of Europe. New York: Penguin Press, 1997. Print.

Whitehead, John W. Grasping for the Wind—the search for meaning in the 20th century. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 2001. Print.