It is the real story of Giorgio Perlasca (Luca Zingaretti). During the 1920s he was an Italian Fascist supporter, fighting in Africa an in the Spanish civil war where he deserved a safe ...
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Fourteen-year-old György's life is torn apart in World War II Hungary, as he is sent to a concentration camp, where he is forced to become a man, and learns to find happiness in the midst of hatred, and what it really means to be Jewish.
It is the real story of Giorgio Perlasca (Luca Zingaretti). During the 1920s he was an Italian Fascist supporter, fighting in Africa an in the Spanish civil war where he deserved a safe conduct for Spanish embassies. After some years, disillusioned by fascism, he is a fresh supplier for the Italian army. In the war years he is in Budapest for his business. He lives an easy life there, well introduced into the Hungarian high society, without any problem coming from the war situation. When the Nazi occupied Hungary, in 1944, instead to leave (Italy had already surrendered to the Allies) he escaped to the Spanish embassy in Budapest using his old safe conduct and becoming a Spanish citizen, changing name into Jorge Perlasca. He starts working as a diplomat here. When Sanz Briz (Geza Tordy), the Spanish consul, is removed, Perlasca immediately substitutes him, like if he was officially appointed from Spanish authorities. All the Nazi, the Hungarian authorities believe him. In his new fake... Written by
Luca Zingarelli is great as Perlasca. It is a story about courage in the face of oppression and tragedy. Perlasca was a fighter for the Spanish & Italian fascists and changed over to his human side when confronted by the brutality of the fascists against the Hungarian Jews. Not Jewish himself, he risked his life against the Nazis and saved almost 6,000 Jews, posing as the Spanish Ambassador after Spain closed down their embassy.
Zingarelli's performance is astounding and you are on edge the entire film - as his monumental energy in not letting one victim die if he can disallow it, comes into view throughout. There are many touching human moments where people connect in the film. How Perlasca plays with the children, how he deals with young & old alike. How he deals with so many in shock with tenderness, strength and decency commands your attention in this very long film. I believe it was supposed to be watched over two nights in Italy, but I watched the 3 hour movie in one sitting. Great performances including Magda and Farkas, the consul. Bring popcorn.
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