Divided We Fall

Directed By: Jan Hrebejk Starring: Bolek Polivka

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Product Overview

Based on a true story and takes place during world war II in a small german-occupied czechoslovakian village, where josef and marie cizek are a childless couple who struggle to evade detection when they provide shelter to a jewish neighbor who has escaped from a nazi concentration camp.


Studio Sony
SKU 40161234
UPC 043396071698
UPC 14 00043396071698
Format DVD
Release Date 6/3/2008
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Jan Hrebejk's DIVIDED WE FALL, the Czech nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2001 Academy Awards, tells the moving tale of a Czech couple attempting desperately to preserve their humanity while the Nazis take over their country and wage war on the rest of Europe. Bolek Polivka stars as Josef, a humble man helping the Jews pack up and leave before the Nazi invasion. He and his wife, Marie (the marvelous Anna Siskova), are in danger of drifting apart because they are unable to have children. Once the war begins and the Jews are shepherded out of their town and to Theresienstadt, Marie and Josef must obey the Gestapo's rules or else end up being arrested. They are visited almost daily by Horst (Jaroslav Ducek), who is quite taken with Marie while trying to lure Josef into collaborating the Nazis; to show his support for the new regime, Horst has even trimmed his mustache and combed his hair so that he closely resembles Hitler. When an escaped Jew (whose father Josef and Horst used to work for) shows up needing help, Josef and Marie are unable to say no, even though they understand that they will be killed if they are caught harboring a fugitive.^Hrebejk's film, featuring powerful music and stunning camerawork--including emotional scenes shot in virtual slow motion with frames cut out and a grainy texture--is an important document of a horrific time in which people were forced to make basic human decisions about themselves and their neighbors that could lead to the death and devastation of entire communities.
New York Times "...This well-timed revelation restores one's faith in World War II as a still-fertile screen subject..." -- 4 out of 4 stars 06/08/2001 p.8E
Los Angeles Times "...Wonderfully, inescapably Czech....Poignant, humanistic an irresistibly comic, DIVIDED WE FALL has that characteristic national ability to distill laughter from painful situations..." 06/08/2001 p.6
Sight and Sound "...The nuanced presentation of the film's characters, and the weaving of their personal stories into the backdrop of momentous historical events, demand a balancing act of great audacity and skill....Bold and admirable..." 06/01/2002 p.41
Total Film "...Slaloming from the light-hearted to the foreboding with barely a lurch, Jan Hrebejk's impressive movie fully deserved its 2001 Best Foreign Film Oscar nom..." 06/01/2002 p.112
USA Today "...Filmed for Czech TV in a jittery style that suits its near-neurotic characters..." 11/30/2001 p.8E
Jan Hrebejk
Bolek Polivka
Cast & Crew
Anna Siskova - Actor
Bolek Polivka - Actor
Csongor Kassai - Actor
Jaroslav Dusek - Actor
Jiri Pecha - Actor
Martin Huba - Actor
Jan Hrebejk - Director
Jan Malir - Director of Photography
Ales Bezina - Musical Score
Ondrej Trojan - Producer
Pavel Borovan - Producer
Jan Hrebejk - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2001
Catalog ID 07169
UPC 00043396071698
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 123 minutes
Color Color
Original Language Czech
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks Czech, English [CC]
Aspect Ratio
Oscar (2001) , Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film
ReviewSource The New York Times
Review ...[the movie] is pervaded with humor that serves not to sentimentalize or sugarcoat the monstrosity of Naziism, but to explain it. The filmmakers explore not only the banality of evil, but also the banality of goodness, and the ridiculousness, as well as the tragedy, of their collision.
Reviewer A.O. Scott
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Widescreen, Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby Surround Sound, English, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Polivka,Bolek
Label Columbia/tri-Star
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Ebert & Roeper And The Movies Two thumbs up!
Andrew Sarris, New York Observer A cinematic delicacy for the heart and mind!
Kenmeth Turan, Los Angeles Times Poignant, humanistic and irresistibly comic... acted with uniform grace.
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