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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

The Truce
Directed by Francesco Rosi
Miramax 04/98 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - some language and sexual content

This Italian film directed by Francesco Rosi (Three Brothers) is based on Primo Levi's award-winning memoir The Reawakening. In 1945 following the Nazi retreat, Russian soldiers pull down the gates of Auschwitz. John Turturro plays Primo, a shell of a man who is slowly restored to the simple joys of life and liberty. Yet always in the back of his mind are the hellish memories of deprivation, death, and destruction in the concentration camp.

In this picaresque tale, Primo joins a large band of World War II survivors from different countries who are all trying to find their way home. In his long and wayward journey to Turin, Primo meets several fascinating characters who help usher him back to the land of the living. They include a charismatic Greek wheeler-dealer (Rade Serbedzija), a stunningly beautiful Russian nurse (Agnieszka Wagner), and a violinist (Roberto Citran).

The Truce bears witness to the courage, patience, and resiliency of Holocaust survivors. It is another chapter in the film recreation of the nightmare of World War II.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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