Europa Europa directed by Agnieszka Holland is one of the strongest movies about the Nazi war against the Jews –World War II. The picture is based on the real events from the life of Solomon Perel who told his story to the world. After watching the movie, I felt inconsistent. My emotions were constantly changing while viewing the motion picture. I learned many interesting facts about the war I had not known before. The movie may serve as an outstanding example of history for people who want to study the period of World War II in details. Many Jews had to hide from Nazis and the ones who managed to escape had to make an uneasy choice whether to serve their enemies or die.
When the war began, Germans drew signs on the buildings where the Jews lived. They broke the windows and killed Jewish citizens. At first, I was shocked when Solek’s sister was killed. I could not realize that those people were so cruel that they could kill even children. Although Bertha was not a little child, she was a young girl who had not done anything wrong. I was frustrated when I saw that small Nazi children cried and insulted the Jews imitating the adults. They shouted, “Out with the Jews!” and hurled stones in the windows (Brauner, Menegoz, & Holland, 1990). I thought that Germans were so mesmerized by their “Führer” Hitler that they taught their children that killing Jews was a noble action.
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The next time I felt sad when Solek and his brother Isaak were detached on the bank of the river. I tried to imagine how hard it must have been to lose the whole family and stay alone. From that moment, I began to feel controversial. Solek became a Soviet Communist and supported Stalin’s ideology. I could not believe that a person was able to forget his/her origin as quickly as Solek did. However, I tried to put myself in his place and I understood that he had no choice. Moreover, the whole movie is based on the fact that he had no choice. One can argue this idea claiming that people always have alternatives. Nevertheless, Solek had only two appropriate options – to live with the enemies as a Communist or a German or die as a Jew. Thus, I can comprehend his choice to live. Besides, he was a young boy who lost himself and could not decide which side to take.
I was glad when Solomon did not kill a Soviet soldier fighting as a German as it meant that he did not lose his humanity and conscience. He finally realized that there was nothing better than being “surrounded by your brothers” (Brauner, Menegoz, & Holland, 1990). The movie teaches that, eventually, every human being thinks of his/her origin and parents. Solek had a possibility to live as a Communist and a Nazi; however, he could not accept their rules and laws and returned to his faith.
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Europa Europa is not only a historical motion picture but also an instructive psychological drama with a good end. Of course, the end of the story is not quite happy since the protagonist lost his parents, brother, and sister, but he stayed with another brother and his nationality. After watching the movie, I grasped the complication of the war and the difficulty of making a choice under such conditions. However, the full understanding of life comes with age and the movie proves it in the best way. It is important to watch such motion pictures to remember about terrible times and vain deaths even if those events do not refer to a person who watches them. Moreover, such movies teach people not to make the same mistakes in future and, if something happens, to make a right choice in life.
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