‘The Invisibles’ Review: On the Run and in Plain Sight in World War II | Modern Society of USA

‘The Invisibles’ Review: On the Run and in Plain Sight in World War II

‘The Invisibles’ Review: On the Run and in Plain Sight in World War II

“The Invisibles,” which tells the astonishing stories of four of the roughly 7,000 German Jews in Berlin who tried to escape deportation to the camps in World War II, is two movies spliced into one. The first records interviews with the four — Cioma Schönhaus, Hanni Lévy, Eugen Friede and Ruth Gumpel (née Arndt) — conducted in 2009. The second uses these testimonies as the basis for a scripted drama that the director, Claus Räfle, weaves around interview segments like extended re-enactments.

What results is neither fish nor fowl, but a disappointingly stilted hybrid that gathers momentum only to hit one roadblock after another. No sooner are we gripped by a character’s imminent capture than the action is paused for commentary. We would rather stick beside Hanni (Alice Dwyer), a 17-year-old orphan, as she dyes her hair and haunts the city’s movie theaters, often sleeping on the streets. Or have uninterrupted time to wonder at the breathtaking inventiveness of Cioma (the excellent Max Mauff), who forges passports in exchange for food stamps and even buys himself a sailboat.

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