Freiwild (1984)

Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Germany, Poland  |  
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Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka

The sustained and pervasive insanity of the Jewish holocaust, as well as the even stronger determination to survive it and to help others trying to survive, are all portrayed in this well-acted, sensitive drama that focuses on one young Jewish girl in Poland during World War II. Ruth (Sharon Brauner) and her mother are in a truck that is taking a group of Jews to be executed in a forest when her mother realizes there is a chance to save Ruth, and pushes her out of the truck at the right moment. Now alone and hunted, Ruth comes across a farmer who protects her by hiding her away in his shed -- a ploy that works well until the farmer's wife discovers this secret and reports it to the authorities. That act gets Ruth thrown into a make-shift prison where her fellow Jewish inmates help her squeeze through an opening and she escapes. Ruth survives starvation basically by either eating garbage or by accepting the help of various people she meets. Then one day a young boy hides her and through a complicated series of events, she is discovered, re-captured, and manages to get away again -- but for how long? Throughout this taut drama, most of the people who have helped Ruth have also been condemned to die, and their last act of kindness before facing execution is a moving commentary on the human spirit.



captive, captor, escape, execution, farming, Holocaust, on-the-run, rescue, survivor, war