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The Island on Bird Street


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Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick Bergin, James Bolam, Michael Byrne, Suzanna Hamilton, Heather Tobias
  • Directors: Sren Kragh-Jacobsen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00116GEFM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,016 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Polish ghetto with his father and great-uncle, knows this too well. When Nazis come to his city and clear the town, Alex manages to escape with the help of his family, but is left with only his pet mouse "Snow". Finding refuge in an abandoned building on Bird Street, Alex seeks inspiration from his favorite book, Robinson Crusoe, while he, and Snow, await his father's return.

Based on a true story by the winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 32 customer reviews
Fast service and just as advertised.
G. Zabik
It attests to the strength of the human spirit and its yearning for survival in the most dire circumstances as the Holocaust and the Jewish Ghettos.
Shoshannah Davis
The mood and settings are very realistic and expertly filmed.
Richard Street

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Loves To Read on March 7, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Based on a true story during WWII in Warsaw, Poland, it is the survival of an eleven year old Jewish boy separated from his father and uncle who are taken to work camps, from which no one returns. He has three things to sustain him: his pet white mouse, Snow; the book Robinson Crusoe; the promise of his father that he will return. The Nazis regularly patrol the bombed out buildings in the ghetto looking for stray Jews who may have escaped their clutches. It's survival in its most basic form. This overlooked film tells the amazing story of the imagination and wits of this 11 year old as lives day to day trying to survive against all odds. Ala Robinson Crusoe, he establishes a loft for himself in a bombed out building and uses every instinct he has to stay alive and not get captured. A fascinating story and well done film. Great camera work and editing. The many twists and turns in the story will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Strong performance by Jordan Kiziuk as the 11 year old Alex.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Richard Street on May 21, 2008
Format: DVD
This almost feels like a foriegn film yet is in English and the actors have mixed accents. It is the story of a young Jewish boy in the getto areas of Warsaw during the German occupation of WWII. He is forced to become creative and resourseful to keep from being sent off to a concentration camp for a questionable fate. The mood and settings are very realistic and expertly filmed. The entire film takes place within a few block radius. Most of the ordeal the boy endures is written in facial expressions and sutle moments of joy and despair. The story is a moving testament to the human spirit in the midst of the atrocities of war. The sound track is classical in nature and builds slowly. The piano movements are as memorable as the violin solos of Shindler's List. A very nice piece of film making.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth A. Nelson on September 27, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Finding himself left alone, except for "Snow" his pet mouse, this young Jewish boy is thrown into an exausting self-preservation mode when the Nazis are evacuating the Ghetto he lives in with his father and great uncle who are pulled away from him as they are being herded to the vehicles that will transport all the evacuees to their sure fated deaths in various consentration camps.

If he can only avoid detection by the Nazi Soldiers, the non-Jewish neighborhood kids/thugs and the ocassional path-crossings with others on the down-low. If he can make it through, what will he face next? What will be left of the world?

A wonderful story, superb acting and fantastic visuals to put you inside the Ghetto.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2009
Format: DVD
Based on the 1985 semi-autobiographical novel by Israeli author Uri Orlev, "The Island on Bird Street" portrays a young Jewish boy's attempts to survive in a ghetto in Poland during WW II. Young Alex [Jordan Kizuik] is reassured by his father Stefan[Patrick Bergin] that he will return to find Alex upon the war's end [Stefan had been selected for deportation]. Alex manages to escape a similar fate or worse by eluding the Nazis, with the help of his old uncle [Jack Warden] who sacrifices his life to save Alex.

Upon the ghetto's liquidation, Alex finds himself totally isolated and having to rely upon his wits to survive. His only constant companion is "Snow", a white mouse and Alex is also sustained by reading and re-reading passages from Robinson Crusoe [which also inspires him to survive using whatever resources he can find].

The drama of Alex's survival unfolds at a steady and suspenseful pace - Alex soon discovers that there are other Jewish refugees just like him who are hiding in the ravaged ghetto and time and again, he sees these Jews being caught by the Nazis whilst eluding capture himself. By sheer ingenuity, Alex builds a sort of treehouse for himself in one of the derelict buildings in the ghetto and stares out of a window out onto the other side of the ghetto, where Polish Gentiles lead relatively ordinary lives, seemingly untouched by the Nazi atrocities. Eventually, events necessitate Alex's venturing out to the Aryan side, and though he realises the risks, Alex's adventurous streak wins over his caution.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Luster on October 24, 2008
Format: DVD
Young Alex finds himself in a predicament when his Uncle is shot and his father hauled off by the Germans during WWII in occupied Poland. Afterall any Jewish children are carted off to work camps or death camps. He manages to illude the Germans and create his own island of refuge as he reads "Robinson Cruesoe". His white pet mouse "Snow" substitutes for Friday. His daily rummaging for food and clothing nearly gets him caught more than once so he decides to build his own treehouse of sorts. I highly recommend this movie. The whole cast is great in addition to Jordan Kiziak as Alex, we have Patrick Bergin as his father and Jack Warden as his Uncle. Based on a true story I found it compelling and fascinating. Good quality DVD with great replayability. If you enjoyed this catch "Joyeux Noel" and "Silent Night".

CA Luster
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