Based on writer Solomon Perel’s true story in the WWII period, Europa, Europa (1990) follows a Jewish boy’s escape from Germany’s systematic persecution and tells his miraculous survival story passing off as a Nazi. Our young protagonist, in director Agnieszka Holland’s own words, is “the toy in the hands of history.” He first experiences family separation and becomes a Russian orphanage for two years. When he encounters a Nazi troop in Russia, he poses as a German Aryan and joins the army in order to survive. This is no different from jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, as his true identity can be exposed at any moment. dir. Holland depicts Solomon’s complex wartime life and brings his burning lie about his identity into a closer examination.
Join this year’s Copernicus Lecture which features director Agnieszka Holland in conversation with U-M Professor Johannes von Moltke and Professor Benjamin Paloff: this Friday night at 7 pm, free and open to the public.
Europa, Europa is part of the 27th annual Ann Arbor Polish Film Festival’s feature film series. This year, AAPFF is going online (Nov 6 – 8) and will present a selection of jury-awarded documentaries, short films, and the latest Polish feature films.