THE TESTAMENT (2019)

A film by  Amichai Greenberg

Cast:  Ori Pfeffer, Rivka Gur, Hagit Dasberg

Yoel is an orthodox Jewish historian responsible for the preservation of Holocaust memorial sites. For years, he has been investigating a massacre that took place in the village of Lendsdorf in Austria, at the twilight of the Second World War. Hitherto patient and monastic, his research accelerates when he is assigned an ultimatum: for lack of tangible proof of the facts, the site will be concreted under a fortnight …

Yoel, a practicing Jew and historian, who must convince the leadership of his small town to stop development of land on which he believes there is a grave containing some 200 Jewish men, women, and children. It is the race against the clock, Yoel must find evidence and the truth but discovering secrets about his family has well. This mystery and historical drama moves along just fine. Ori Pfeffer plays yoel and gives a great performance to the role of this man who becomes obsessed in finding the truth. however the leadership of this small town wants to go on with their project as soon as possible. Finding secrets about his family is going to disturb him along the way. Of course there are some people who wants him to leave things along the past is the past. Here is an anti-hero who sees everything around him collapsing, but he follows his path silently in order to remain faithful to his professional and religious integrity not an easy thing to do when he discovered secrets in his own family. Do not miss this one.

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THE DARK VALLEY (2014)

 

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A film by Andreas Prochaska

Cast: Sam Riley, Tobias Moretti, Paula Beer

Through a hidden path a stranger arrives in this little town hidden away by the mountains. The stranger wants to stay until spring but nobody knows where he comes from, they know this much they do not want him here.

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The stranger named Greider is hosted in a hostile and suspicious way, especially by the six Brenner brothers who terrorize the village and whose father owns all the land. He is lodged by a widow who lives with her daughter, Luzi, about to marry the young Lucas. Greider begins by photographing the village, its inhabitants, the valley, he tells Luzi that he lived in Texas, he wears strange serrated spurs and hides a Winchester-type rifle unknown in this  town. Flash back reveals the village’s heavy secret little by little you are beginning to know what the stranger is doing here in this little town, and it is not going to be pretty. Here is a patient, intelligent man waiting for the ideal moment to let his purpose be known. It is nothing that you are already seen in western but this one takes places in Austria’ alps. The film is  incompatible to the traditional American Western.

Also the story takes a spin once you know the secrets of the town and providing the flashback. Andreas Prochaska showers  this film in mystery and you are going to sense the blood bath that is going to follow. The cinematography captures the raw paysage of winter as well as spring. The dark valley here fells like a Clint Eastwood film like the one High Plain Drifter. This film however is an adaptation of the book I think of the same name I am not sure yet.

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FUNNY GAMES (1997)

Two seemingly well-educated young men, who call each other Paul and Peter among other names, approach a family on vacation. They are, apparently, friends of the neighbors, and, at the beginning, their true intentions are not known. But soon, the family is imprisoned and tortured in its own house violently, which the viewers are forced mostly to imagine and to share a certain complicity with the criminals. It might be some kind of game with the lives of husband, wife, son, and dog, but why are they doing it? Director Michael Haneke told producer ‘Veit Heiduschka’ during the production that if the film was a success, it would be because audiences had misunderstood the meaning behind it. Paul says the line “We’re not up to feature film length yet” at exactly the 95-minute mark of the movie. Director Michael Haneke has said that he never intended ‘Funny Games’ to be a horror film. Instead his idea was to make a film with a moralistic comment about the influence of media violence on society. It’s a subject that Haneke is quite passionate about. When the film was screened at Cannes in 1997 it shocked the audience badly enough that many viewers, including some film critics, walked out of the screening. According to director Michael Haneke, star Susanne Lothar would often have to force herself to cry for nearly 20 minutes before her takes. He said the scene in which she is forced to pray required 28 takes and Lothar was tremendously drained by the ordeal. It was the weakened reaction that Haneke wanted from her for the scene. Of course There is the U.S version of the same name I did not see it yet but prefer not to. I love this one.