The Bill Cosford Cinema is pleased to announce an ongoing film series examining the earth shattering events of World War II from numerous perspectives. The series will be ongoing from December until March and include four films from around the world including Canada, Poland, France, and Germany.

THE PIN – December 13-22
Directed By Naomi Jaye.
Canada. 83minutes. Digital Projection.
2013. Color. Yiddish with English subtitles.

Two young people find love while in hiding during WWII. The boy, now an old man, works as a Shomer, a religious watchman responsible for guarding the souls of the dead before their burial. One night he comes face-to-face with his long lost love when her dead body is wheeled into the morgue where he works. As he is presented with a final chance at redemption, he recalls the brief but intense circumstances of their love affair.
Directed By Naomi Jaye.

AFTERMATH – January 31 – February 2
Directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski.
Poland. 104minutes. Digital Projection.
2013. Polish with English Subtitles.

Franek and Jozek Kalina, sons of a poor farmer, are brothers from a small village in central Poland. Franek immigrated to the United States in the 80’s, and cut all ties with his family. Only when Jozek’s wife arrives in the US, without explanation, does Franek finally return to his homeland. Franek discovers that Jozek has been ostracized from the community, and constantly receives various threats. As Franek and Jozek struggle to rebuild their relationship, they are drawn into a gothic tale of intrigue. The two brothers eventually uncover a dark secret that forces them to confront the history of their family and their hometown. Upon its release in Poland, AFTERMATH received acclaim and also generated intense controversy. Polish nationals have accused the film of being anti-Polish propaganda, as well as a distortion of a sensitive piece of Polish history, leading the film to be banned in some Polish cinemas.

Directed by Claude Lanzmann.
France/Austria. 2013. Digital Projection.
220minutes. Color and B+W.
German, English, and French with English Subtitles.

With SHOAH, the heroic Claude Lanzmann (87 and still going strong) re-oriented our understanding of the defining event of the 20th century. Three decades after that cinematic milestone, he does so once again, from an entirely new personal, historical and aesthetic perspective. At the new film’s center is Benjamin Murmelstein, the last Jewish elder of Theresienstadt and a figure who was once despised by many of the surviving inhabitants of that dreadful “city”. In a lengthy interview shot in Rome that was originally intended for SHOAH (intercut with Lanzmann himself revisiting specific sites in Vienna and the Czech Republic, as well as footage, photos and artworks), the brilliant Murmelstein—sometimes excitedly but more often calmly – explains his actions and precisely defines his paradoxical role in history.

GENERATION WAR – PART I + II – February 28 – March 9
Directed by Philipp Kadelbach.
Germany. 131minutes (Part I). 148minutes (Part II). Digital Projection.
2013. Color. German with English Subtitles.

Billed as a German BAND OF BROTHERS, the blockbuster miniseries GENERATION WAR vividly depicts the lives of five young German friends forced to navigate the unconscionable moral compromises of life under Hitler. Level-headed, highly decorated officer Wilhelm (Volker Bruch) goes off to the eastern front with his sensitive younger brother Friedhelm (Tom Schilling). Deeply in love with Wilhelm is Charlotte (Miriam Stein), a young nurse who looks forward to serving in the Red Cross. Greta (Katherina Schüttler) is a talented singer who longs to become another Marlene Dietrich, while her Jewish boyfriend Viktor (Ludwig Trepte) fights for his life while hiding among members of the Polish Resistance.

Through extraordinary performances, these five exceptional young German actors fill their archetypal characters with the certainty of youth, and then allow it to drain away slowly with each successive month of war. Valor, courage, and betrayal come to the fore in this powerful German epic that shows the everyday realities of wartime life from a deeply personal perspective. German critics have been nearly universal in their praise, with Der Spiegel calling GENERATION WAR a “turning point in German television” and a review in national newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung describing the film as “the first and last chance .. to ask our grandparents about their true biographies, their immoral compromises…the missed chances to act.”

Tickets are now available