Like a less edgy, more information-based American Animals, Claus Räfle’s The Invisibles blurs narrative and documentary lines to creatively tell a lesser-known aspect of the Holocaust.
Rooted in interviews with four Jewish survivors who managed to remain in Berlin during WWII through various creative means, the film leaves plenty of drama for the quartet to navigate despite the fact that its subjects are alive and telling their stories late in life.
A credit to Räfle’s filmmaking talents, the inevitable triumphs of 1940s young adults Cioma Schönhaus (Max Mauff), Hanni Lévy (Alice Dwyer), Ruth Arndt (Ruby O. Fee), and Eugen Friede (Aaron Altaras) don’t detract from the tension of their war-era travails. Instead, the captivating action flows fairly seamlessly between them, augmented by the daring deeds of the brave citizens who help them.
Impeding progress are somewhat awkward shifts in perspective, with dramatic action accompanied by scattered past-tense narration from the characters as well as speech from their real-life counterparts.
Such nettlesome moments are further complicated by the white subtitle text made unreadable by the occasional matching background, but though these unintentional nods to the film’s title are unfortunate, they only slightly detract from the otherwise finely told, fact-based tale.
Grade: B. Not rated, but comparable to PG-13. Now playing at the Fine Arts Theatre
(Photo: Greenwich Entertainment)