Jew-Boy Levi (1999)

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Director: Didi Danquart
Cast: Bruno Cathomas, Caroline Ebner, Eva Mattes, Martina Gedeck

Synopsis

The Black Forest, 1933: a Jewish door-to-door salesman has a fondness for animals and enjoys a relationship with the local countryfolk founded upon mutual respect until a tunnel collapse brings railway mechanics and their charismatic, but racist, official to the village.

The Review

Shot in warm, nostalgic colours and directed at a steady, anecdotal, pace throughout, the film spares us the full import of the horror to come. Instead it concentrates on fleshing out some half-dozen warts-and-all characterisations, including that of the Levi himself, who succumbs to hubris in one scene. The result is a number of memorable scenes in a not altogether remarkable movie, though the growing incomprehension on the hero's face is moving testimony to the timorous selfishness of the people at the time.