"His penis saved his soul... Otherwise he might have become a total Nazi." Holland talks to Amy Taubin about "Europa, Europa."
- Sight & Sound
"You know there are two new Europes - the west and the east... Western Europe has become very proud; they've forgotten that their roots are not so nice. And in the east, it's the same thing only they want to be more like the west. They want to be the European New Order. But Europe, any Europe, never resolved the madness... of the of the Holocaust and something larger that is was a part of - the dream of making a totalitarian state that's more important that the individual. Of course there's difference between Communism and Nazism. Communist ideology in some way was utopian. It was about social justice, while Nazism was clearly a pathology from the beginning." Holland talks with Amy Taubin about her film "Europa Europa."
- Sight & Sound, 11/1993
New York Times - 06/28/1991
"...[EUROPA, EUROPA] brings new immediacy to the outrage by locating specific, wrenching details....Several remarkable episodes..."
Los Angeles Times - 07/26/1991
"...It's an incredible story, as only true stories can be..."
Agnieszka Holland's EUROPA EUROPA is the fascinating fact-based story of Solomon Perel (Marco Hofschneider), a German Jew who survived the Holocaust by concealing his identity, literally within enemy ranks. When Nazi thugs smash into the Perels' house, 13-year-old Solly manages to flee. Upon his reunion with his family, they head for Poland, hoping to find safety but war soon overcomes that land, and once again Solly is forced to run, this time with his brother. They become separated, however, and ultimately Solly falls into the clutches of the Nazis. He quickly realizes he has just two chances for survival: convincing them that he, too, is a pure-blooded Aryan, and hoping that they never find out the truth. Based on Perel's miraculous autobiography, Holland's film is an epic drama that features a moving performance by Hofschneider. Holland uses exquisite pacing to build even greater tension; the further Solly digs himself in with the Nazis, the closer to being exposed he becomes. It is this ironic twist of fate that makes EUROPA EUROPA such a powerful motion picture; the screenplay for this gripping story was nominated for an Academy Award.
A true story based on the remarkable autobiography of Soloman Perel, this film details the events of his life as a Jewish boy in World War II Europe as he undergoes an odyssey for survival over the period 1938-1945. He escapes from a Polish ghetto, lives in a communist orphanage, attends an elite school for Hitler youth, and fights on several battlefields, all the while concealing his identity in this powerful motion picture directed by Agnieszka Holland (THE SECRET GARDEN).
Switching Roles |
Theatrical Release |
Theatrical release: August 1991.
The German export union refused to nominate the film as its candidate for the Academy Awards, according to reports. However, EUROPA EUROPA was included in the Best (Adapted) Screenplay category.