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INSPIRING SAGA OF A HEROIC FAMILY IN NAZI OCCUPIED HOLLAND,
This review is from: The Hiding Place (DVD)
This is the true story of the heroic Ten Boom family who, during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands. asked themselves the question, "If not us...who; if not now...when?" They answered it, and ultimately their response cost most of them their lives. This is their story, as told from the perspective of the sole survivor, Corrie Ten Boom.
The Ten Booms were devoutly Christian and lived a simple life, working in their watch shop that had been in their family for over a hundred years. When the Nazis occupied Holland, they were appalled by the treatment of their fellow Jewish citizens at the hands of the Nazis. Initially, the seventy year old patriarch of the family, played to perfection by Arthur O'Connell, took to wearing a Jewish star himself in sympathy with their oppressed Jewish friends.
As time went on, members of this heroic family began working with an underground, partisan group. When it became clear that Jews were being targeted for death and deportation, however, the family also began to hide terrified Jews in their home, after constructing a false wall in one of their bedrooms, thereby creating a secret room.
Eventually denounced by someone to the Nazis, they are arrested in their home which is then torn apart by the Gestapo, in their search for the Jews they believe to be hiding there. At the time of their arrest, the Ten Boom home was filled to capacity with Jews in hiding. So well concealed was the hidden room that had been created by the erection of the false wall, that these poor, terrified Jews managed to escape detection.
The five Ten Booms, however, did not fare so well and were sent to the notorious Ravensbruck death camp, where Corrie and her sister, Betsie, managed to stay together. It is here that they learn the true depths of man's inhumanity to man, and Corrie's Christian faith is sorely tested.
Betsie, affectingly played by the superb Julie Harris, does not survive the rigors and deprivations of Ravensbruck and dies. Within two weeks of her beloved sister's death, Corrie is miraculously released from Ravensbruck. It is years later that she learns that her release was a result of clerical error and that shortly after her release, middle-aged women, such as she, were systemically being put to death.
Corrie was the only member of the Ten Boom family to survive the concentration camp experience. She told their story in a book upon which the movie is based. She is a stark reminder of the innate goodness to be found in humanity and is a strong counterpoint to the cruelty of the Nazi regime.
I first saw this movie when it was first released in the mid nineteen seventies. It was as moving then, as it is now, nearly thirty years later. The themes upon which it touches are timeless. This superbly made film with its haunting musical score is peppered with award caliber performances. It is simply a great movie...Bravo!