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The Boat Is Full

3.5 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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(Jun 27, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

During WWII, a ragtag band of refugees from Germany crosses into Switzerland seeking shelter. The owner of a small inn takes them in with the provision that they pose as a family in order to escape suspicion and deportation, as refugee families with children under six were allowed to maintain asylum in Switzerland during the war. The group includes a child who speaks only French, while its adults are all German-speakers. Can the boy be made to understand the gravity of maintaining his silence as he holds their fate in his small hands? Riveting and suspenseful to the last minute, The Boat Is Full's powerful story of rescue and redemption was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Special Features

  • Interview with director Markus Imhoof
  • "Saving of a Movie" featurette
  • Liner notes
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Tina Engel, Hans Diehl, Martin Walz, Curt Bois, Ilse Bahrs
  • Directors: Markus Imhoof
  • Writers: Markus Imhoof, Alfred A. Haesler
  • Producers: George Reinhart
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F4TMIM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,462 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Boat Is Full" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lyndsey Turner on June 5, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I don't generally write reviews, however, the only other review written for this movie is completely and utterly wrong. The movie described in the review is most definitely not the award-winning Swiss film "The Boat is Full". This film can be pointed to as the first step towards the acknowledgement of Switzerland's culpability during WWII and the Holocaust. It follows Jewish refugees who have escaped from Germany into the neutral Swiss country in hopes of a better life, or actually just life in general. They are accompanied by a deserter from the German army. They are taken in by a Swiss couple who feeds them and tries to help them stay in the country. However, it will be a difficult task since Switzerland had stopped allowing Jews to enter the country (and stay) unless they could meet certain, strict criteria. During the Second World War, the Swiss did accept 30,000 Jewish refugees, however, they also turned away an estimated 30,000 more and knowingly sent them to their deaths back in Germany. This is not a condemnation of the Swiss people (as the movie portrays many of them did try to help the Jews), however, it is a condemnation of the Swiss government during the war who many times gave aid to Hitler's Nazis, including the selling of gold taken from the teeth of Jewish victims. Thanks to this film new investigations began and the truth has come to light as to Switzerland's role in the war and, to their credit, the government is seriously trying to make amends for it. If you are interested in the Holocaust this is a movie for you. It is in German, Swiss, and French, but the subtitles are very good and it is most definitely worth watching. It would be perfect to show to a history class to illustrate how some of the greatest harm mankind can do is by doing nothing.
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Format: VHS Tape
Filmed in Switzerland in 1981, and based on a true story, this film is more than a Holocaust drama. It deals with courage, humanity, and challenging a country's restrictions.

Six people including four Jews, a German soldier deserter and a young French boy escape Germany and they enter Switzerland for safety - their lives!

They come across an innkeeper, Anna Franz, who instructs the group that Switzerland will take refugees, but they must comply to the restrictions that entail asylum to a family with children under 6. They formulate a plan to resemble a family. However, the groups faces one challenging aspect, the youngest boy is French and does not speak German and it is critical that he not speak!

To further the challenges, Judith, who poses as the mother and wife, has her real husband pursuing her as he left a Swiss refugee camp. Plus, Anna, the innkeeper, is up against her own husband, who is frightened of the mascarade unfolding.

This film is suspenseful and heartening and like any other Holocaust film, it exudes the ultimate sadness. It was nominated for an Oscar in 1982 for Best Foreign Film. ......Rizzo

I recommend an amazing Jewish Halocaust film, through the eyes of a teen:
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Silly me thought this movie was about a boat and people attempting to flee the Nazis aboard. This is not an unreasonable guess, since the title is "The Boat is Full" and many individuals did others tried to escape the . This film is about an often unknown fact that Switzerland's "neutrality" cost many their lives. This film is realistic and factual and sad. Watch it. Learn history. Learn from the mistakes of others so that they are not repeated. Doing nothing is doing something.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I noticed a couple of very negative reviews of "The Boat is Full" and I admit that this movie is rather unique. However, I was very impressed with this film once I had seen it to its' completion. It lacks any sort of action or compelling characterization. I was able to watch "The Boat is Full" sitting way back in my seat and at no time found myself at the edge of it. The setting and dialogue could have easily been transposed successfully into an on-stage production. What makes it so impressive is the glimpse it gives us of the general European apathy to the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany and, specifically, to the plight of refugees. Years ago I read the book "While Six Million Died" which detailed the "problem" of Jewish emigrees in the early and middle years of Hitler's Germany. The basic problem was that nobody wanted them. (The book underscored America's shameless participation in that apathy). There is a centuries-old anti-Semitism in Europe that most Americans don't comprehend. I'm no expert on the subject so I won't attempt to explain nor justify this but we get a sense of it from the various comments heard in "The Boat is Full".

We encounter a mixture of refugees who are only looking for a haven from the madness that they left behind in German occupied Europe. They have made it to Switzerland but that doesn't mean that their ordeal is over. To counteract the large influx of refugees, Switzerland has its' own set of rules as to who can stay and who gets sent back. Getting sent back is almost the same as a death sentence which the viewers understand. The chess game of desperate moves is the essence of the movie. Kudos to director Marcus Imhoof for giving us a cast of (under the circumstances) everyday characters. We are not drawn generally to anyone in particular.
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