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STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME


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Product Details

  • Actors: Jaap Polak, Ina Soep
  • Directors: Michele Ohayon
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: WESTLAKE ENTERT
  • DVD Release Date: May 20, 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00113VKA4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,105 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME is a compelling documentary feature film by Academy Award® nominee Michèle Ohayon about the power of love and the ability of humankind to rise above unimaginable suffering. 1943; Holland is under total Nazi occupation. In Amsterdam, Jack, an unassuming accountant, first meets Ina at a birthday party a 20 year old beauty from a wealthy diamond manufacturing family who instantly steals his heart. But Jack s pursuit of love will be complicated; he is poor and married to Manja, a flirtatious and mercurial spouse. When the Jews are being deported, the husband, the wife and the lover find themselves at the same concentration camp; actually living in the same barracks. When Jack's wife objects to the "girlfriend" in spite of their unhappy marriage, Jack and Ina resort to writing secret love letters, which sustain them throughout the horrible circumstances of the war.

Review

Not even Hollywood could invent a romance more extraordinary than this one...New York Daily News --New York Daily News

...A seminal film on the Holocaust that will touch peoples' lives forever...Advocacy Unit United Nations --Advocacy Unit United Nations

Michèle Ohayon's striking documentary tells this most unusual love story with grace and compassion Irrepressibly moving ...Los Angeles Times --LA Times

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 20 customer reviews
Both are very articulate.
Bradley F. Smith
Though Jack was with his wife at the time, he nevertheless fell in love with Ina, a 20-year-old woman, who immediately became the love of his life.
Roland E. Zwick
While it is also an informative documentary about the Holocaust, it is primarily a love story that is inspirational and awe-inspiring.
liscannor clare

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By phyllis nichols-glazer on December 29, 2007
Format: DVD
Steal a Pencil for Me The move was so good that I had too get the book and read it too. I think it is a must see move. Just to let pepole know that the Holocaust did take place that 6,0000 Jewish people were killed in concentration camps in W.W.ll and this should and will not happien again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 28, 2008
Format: DVD
This was a real interesting take on the Holocaust. It really shows the "realness" of the lives that it touched. Not everyone might agree with the background of the love story, but it is love none the less and shows basic human nature continued even through the dramatic and painful period of the Holocaust. Jaap and Ina's story is a great testament to the human spirit. The best part of the documentary was when he spoke to the school children as he and Ina walked the path in Westerbrook so many years later. So much can be learned and appreciated from his words. There are adult themes in this so I don't think it would be appropriate for younger audiences.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Baker on April 10, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Steal a Pencil for Me is a wonderful documentary telling the compelling love story of 2 people caught in the roundup of Jews in Holland. It is quite suitable for children over age 11 to watch, in that it does not show torture or ovens, etc.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By liscannor clare on April 8, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is above all a beautiful love story about two people who seemed destined to be together.
Jaap and Ina kept each other buoyed up (and perhaps alive) through the difficulties of Westerbork and the horrors of Bergen-Belsen through secretive love letters. While it is also an informative documentary about
the Holocaust, it is primarily a love story that is inspirational and awe-inspiring. "Steal A Pencil for Me"
is an important component of all the varied stories of the victims of the Holocaust.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LinaCW on December 4, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary is a great idea and it's very well perfomed. The testimonies, the images, and the documents used to tell the story are interesting and beautifully used.
However, there is a problem with the item itself. It doesn't have subtitles options but in the product's review this is not specified. Moreover, the DVD doesn't work in all DVD players. I have an average DVD player (Samsung) but when I try to play the DVD it says "Play prohibited" so I had to watch it in my computer.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 21, 2010
Format: DVD
"Steal A Pencil for Me" is not a conventional Holocaust story though the people featured in it were Holocaust victims. I say this because the story is mainly an exploration of the relationship between two individuals who fell in love despite the odds being against them. Israeli director Michele Ohayon uses a documentary style to tell the story of Jack (Jaap) Polak, and his wife of 60 years Ina Soep Polak, who met in Amsterdam before the war, when Jack was married to another woman. The pair are instantly attracted to each other despite their very different backgrounds - Jack comes from an average financial background, whereas Ina comes from a wealthy family (her father was in the diamond polishing industry). When WW II breaks out, the pair (together with Jack's wife) end up in the Westerbork transit camp and later get moved to Bergen-Belsen. Throughout their internment, Jack and Ina maintain contact, exchanging letters in secret at a time when paper and pencil were prized commodities (hence the title of the feature which was also a phrase written by Jack in one of his letters to Ina).

I viewed their story with sympathy mainly because Jack's marriage to his wife was already in trouble before he met Ina - his wife was a jealous woman yet treated him almost with indifference, and the contrast between Ina and Jack's first wife was rather startling. The story moves back and forth between the past and the present - the past is often portrayed through the use of old photographs and archival film footage, and in the present we see Jack (at 93, still quite alert with a knowing gleam in his eyes) and Ina still as in love as when they were younger. It was heartening to see Jack still active in Holocaust education, and to know that this couple weathered the most unimaginable horrors and yet were strengthened by their love for each other, makes this a truly moving account.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bradley F. Smith on September 23, 2008
Format: DVD
A love story of two Dutch Holocaust survivors who courted in a concentration camp and somehow made it out alive. Great interweaving of documentary footage of the Nazi era, with contemporary interviews. Though he's 93 in the film, the man, Jack, is incredibly alive, as is his wife. Both are very articulate. You wonder what's made them stay so young this long. I wished there was more about their lives in the 60 years since the war ended. You see their kids, but that's it. Well worth watching as a tale human endurance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard on June 26, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
an excellent fascinating account of the horror of the holocaust in the midst of a love story, a must read.
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