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Divided We Fall (2000)

Cast: Boleslav Polívka, Jaroslav Dusek, Jiri Pecha, more...
Director: Jan Hrebejk
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Politics and Social Issues, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Germany, Czech, War, WWII, Eastern Europe
Running Time: 122 min.
Languages: Czech
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

A man and a woman battle with deceit and infidelity as they struggle to survive Hitler's fascist regime in this period drama. Marie and Josef Cizek (Anna Siskova and Boleslav Polivka) are a couple living in a small Czechoslovakian village during the Nazi occupation of World War II. Marie and Josef's marriage is showing signs of strain as a result of the political tensions surrounding them, as well as frustrations over their inability to have children due to Josef's sterility. When a neighboring Jewish family is deported and sent to Theresenstadt, their teenage son David (Csongor Kassai) manages to escape, and the Cizeks warily agree to hide him in their home. An acquaintance of the couple, Horst Prohazka (Jaroslav Dusek), has become a Nazi collaborator and a minor local functionary with the party; he's never made a secret of his interest in Marie, and he now uses his new authority to pay a number of uninvited visits to the Cizeks' modest home. Marie and Josef begin to suspect that Horst knows they're hiding David, so when Horst asks the couple to board a Nazi clerk (Martin Huba) in their spare bedroom, they have to quickly fabricate a plausible excuse to keep him away. Marie tells Horst they need the spare room as a nursery, because they will soon be expecting a baby. Now, in order to make the lie real, Marie must convince David to impregnate her; this will keep the Nazis at bay and allow her to have the baby she's wanted, but it drives an even deeper wedge between herself and Josef. Musime Si Pomahat received its North American premiere at the 2000 Montreal World Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Powerful by Texan99 September 4, 2010 - 3:59 PM PDT
Because I was reluctant to endure another Holocaust pain-fest about hiding Jews a la Anne Frank, I almost took a pass on this fine film. That would have been a shame. I was so afraid it would degenerate into an unbearable screed on the treacherous behavior of people in the grip of a fascist occupation. Instead, not only do the protagonists behave better than expected, but even the really awful bad guys get a surprisingly humane treatment from the director. The film has the oddest atmosphere, almost like a bedroom farce. This tone really keeps you on your toes, because you never go more than a few minutes without being reminded that this is definitely no joke and that the director is not being even remotely flippant, either about guilt or about forgiveness and reconciliation.

Do Rent Divided We Fall by GDarcy November 12, 2004 - 10:37 AM PST
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I requested this Czech film (2000) from GreenCine and they kindly secured a copy. It doesn't focus so much on the horrors of World War II in Eastern Europe but emphasizes instead the War's effects on a close-knit community and how their interpersonal relations are altered by events. It is sweet, sad and funny, and I enjoyed every minute. Thanks, GreenCine, for the opportunity.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.34)
32 Votes
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Oscar's Foreign Failures
1990 forward - Foreign Film Oscar also-rans (lots of nominees aren't on DVD)
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