20 February 2013

Movie Review: "Hidden in Silence"

Rated: Not Rated
Starring: Kellie Martin, Marion Ross, and Marc Warren
Released: March 6, 1996
Synopsis: Stefania "Fusia" Podagorska, a 17-year-old maid, is living in Poland during the time of World War II.  When the Jewish family she lives with gets taken away by German soldiers, the house is turned over to Fusia.  She and her little sister hide Jews to protect them from the Third Reich, but she is soon forced to leave her home.  When she finds a large house with a sizable attic, she realizes it would be great for hiding Jews...but, with the Gestapo looming, how long will they stay hidden? Based on a true story.

Story: 4/5
Though "true story" movies aren't usually my thing--I use entertainment as an escape from real life!--I have to say this one was quite involving.  It really illustrates the horrors of what happened during World War II.  However, the abrupt ending was a bit disappointing; I won't say anything more, as not to give away the plot.

Production Values: 3.5/5
This film was mostly well-done; it seemed to be shot on location, and everything looked pretty true-to-life. Still, the one rough spot was Kellie Martin, whose American accent seemed to appear randomly, despite the fact that she was playing a Polish girl.  On a positive side, the music sounded really good on my home theater system.

Moral Content: 3/5
The Holocaust isn't exactly a kid-friendly subject, but this movie does show a bit of restraint.  People are shot; a man is seen with bloody wounds on his face; a body is seen being carried out; and other deaths and violent acts are either seen or implied.  Though most of the kissing is innocent, peck-on-the-cheek stuff, there are two scenes with passionate smooching, including one with a nameless couple in bed; whether they are married or not isn't specified.  On the other side of the coin, Fusia's Catholic faith is portrayed in a good light, and she is even shown praying in a church; that's a far cry from movies like The Vow, that remove all the Christian content from their source material.  So, suffice it to say: If a kid is old/mature enough to understand the terrors that happened because of the Third Reich, then this would probably be appropriate for them; still, you might want to screen it first.

Conclusion: History buffs, rejoice! Hidden in Silence is a little-known historical drama that is not only a good yarn, but a true one as well.  It probably is one I won't be watching again, and would likely only be worth watching on TV or renting for most people; still, you could do a lot worse.

Score: 3.5/5 

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