2008-05-23 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

'Fugitive Pieces' - Holocaust Ghosts

"To live with ghosts requires solitude."

The words of writer Jakob Beer (Stephen Dillane) haunt the film, "Fugitive Pieces," much like the phantom memories of his family, which was slain during the Holocaust.

Now, an acclaimed author, Jakob can't shake off the images of his mother and father's deaths at the hands of Nazis, while he watched hidden in their Poland home. His sister, Bella, was abducted, leaving him with the lingering obsessive thought that she may have somehow survived. The ghosts dominate his life, eventually ruining his marriage to Canadian wife, Alex (Rosamund Pike), but fueling the pain that he translates into his potent prose.

Written and directed by Jeremy Podeswa (himself the son of a Holocaust survivor), "Fugitive Pieces" has a somewhat confused narrative in that it crisscrosses in time between Jakob's paranoid world as a 9-year-old (Robbie Kay) hiding from Nazis and his pained adult, artist's existence. His salvation comes in the person of Greek archaeologist Athos (Rade Sherbedgia) who, while on a dig in Poland, finds the fugitive boy buried under leaves. The kindly Athos spirits Jakob away to his Greek home, where he raises him like a son and encourages him to write to assuage his torment.

Based on the Ann Michaels novel, the film never slips into self-pity nor wallows in depression. Though the painful ghosts are ever-present, the film is positively life-affirming, particularly in the paternal character played by Sherbedgia, an actor known for his villains ("Mighty Joe Young"). In fact, the last act has the successful writer living a dreamy lifestyle in a villa off the blue waters of Greece. He still longs for his lost sister, but sharing his life with a new found love, he appears to be making the best of it.

Go see "Fugitive Pieces" and get rid of your ghosts.

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