Foreign Film Friday: Die verlorene Zeit (Remembrance)

Die Verlorene Zeit (Remembrance) (2011) is based on the true story of Jerzy Bielecki (1921-2011) and Cyla Cybulska (1921-2006). They are best known as two of the few inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp who managed to successfully escape together in 1944. Although later separated, never to know the other’s fate, their love remained. Only by chance did they find each other again, 39 years later. Read the full true story here.

Remembrance depicts a remarkable love story that blossomed amidst the terror of a German concentration camp in 1944 Poland. This impossible passion fuels the courage of a Polish prisoner who manages to rescue his Jewish girlfriend. Against all odds, they escape the camp and survive a treacherous journey to freedom. But during the chaos of the end of the war, they are forcibly separated and each is convinced that the other has died. More than thirty years later in New York, the happily married 52-year-old woman accidentally finds out that her former Polish lover is still alive— and she has to see him again.

Unlike most World War II movies, what Remembrance lacked in warfare, action, and bullets, it made up with a heart-wrenching love story that was never meant to be. Remembrance portrays love in its rawest form: a deep and powerful force that binds people together during even the worst of times.The characters do a wonderful job portraying the brutal world around them as they cling onto their hope for survival. Although the story is slightly challenging to follow at times, and a tad unsuspenseful, I would thoroughly enjoy a second watch through, perhaps with a box of tissues handy.

The language aspect within the movie was particularly interesting as we were introduced to the back and forth of Polish, German, and English throughout the film. Often, these language barriers nearly caused catastrophe for our young heroes as they struggled for freedom and their lives. Remembrance depicts not just the diversity of languages, but also the connotations of their associated cultures. It is these connotations that bring out the worst in the characters, but so do they prevail.

Rating: ★★★ (3/5 stars)

Quick Facts—
Directed by: Anna Justice
Released: 24 November 2011
Country: Germany
Language: German, Polish, English
Shown In: United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Croatia, Spain, Japan, Poland, New Zealand, Poland, France, Hungary, Venezuela
Full Cast:
Alice Dwyer – Hannah Silberstein 1944
Dagmar Manzel – Hannah Levine 1976
Mateusz Damiecki – Tomasz Limanowski 1944
Susanne Lothar – Stefania Limanowska
Shantel VanSanten – Rebecca Levine
David Rasche – Daniel Levine
Lech Mackiewicz – Tomasz Limanowski 1976
Joanna Kulig – Magdalena Limanowska
Miroslaw Zbrojewicz – Janusz

Jack Achenbach

Jack Achenbach

I am an SLE Storyteller and a culinary nutrition student at Johnson & Wales University who believes that there is no limit to the size of one’s imagination nor the paths one travels. I am a writer, a sucker for a great story. I am chef with a culinary passion. I am an adventurer because I explore what yet I have not seen. I am a dreamer because I dream the impossible dream.

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