The very best films break open your heart; or remind you of something very important that you may have long forgotten or buried in some dark corner of your mind; or delight your heart and your mind with a new recognition of the stunning beauty and power of the human potential.
The German drama Remembrance (2011) directed by Anna Justice is precisely such a film. It does all three with a rare poignancy.
This movie is an incandescent confirmation of deep, meaningful, true love and its wondrous power.
This is the story of Tomasz, a captured Polish-Catholic resistance fighter, and Hannah, a Jewish woman. In 1944 both were imprisoned at the Auschwitz Concentration Death Camp.
In the presence of senseless, depraved evil and in the midst of inconceivable human cruelty; wretched squalor; calculated starvation; unfathomable hopelessness; and the stifling, heavy aroma of death perfuming the air — love found a way to seed, to grow, and to even flourish.
One man found a way to a love one woman, to nurture her physically, to give her hope, to save her life.
And what struck me as hauntingly breathtaking is that this love seeded and sustained itself without a common language, the deception of makeup, Pinterest-worthy outfits, silicone assets, or professional definitions. All the things we –with our comparatively easy lives– think we need to love and to be loved.
Yes, two ordinary people ripped from their homes and their families, thrown into Hitler’s hell, and stripped naked of all their human dignity found their way to hope and to a deep, meaningful, true love.
The movie is even more exhilarating, because it was inspired by true events. Imagine that!
Most of us with comfortable existences fall in “love” based on superficial considerations like —
- Does he have a college degree?
- Is she hot?
- Does he have blue eyes?
- Is her hair blonde?
- Does she have a big arse or breasts or both?
- Is she white?
- How about 50 shades of stupid?
But I can’t help but wonder: If love is untested, how can we be certain that it is deep, meaningful, and true?