It’s been awhile since I’ve done a movie recommendation. Well, I just have to tell you about this one.
On Sunday, I streamed via Netflix the movie, Fugitive Pieces. It’s a story that begins during WWII when a young Jewish boy, Jakob, is hidden moments before the Nazis burst into the family’s home, kill the parents, and drag the sister away. The story moves back and forth through the years, showing Jakob’s escape and the life he discovers despite the horrors. Here’s the blurb:
Based on the acclaimed debut novel from poet Anne Michaels, this stirring tale centers on Jakob Beer (Stephen Dillane), a Jewish immigrant haunted by the murder of his family at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Featuring stellar performances from Rade Serbedzija (Shooter), Rosamund Pike (Fracture) and Ayelet Zurer (Vantage Point), this poignant drama is adapted and directed by Jeremy Podeswa.
In the movie, Jakob is given a journal by the man who rescues and then raises him. There are lines of dialogue and things written in the journals that simply caused my breath to catch. The beauty of the prose made me want to weep at times.
When I put this movie in my instant queue, I missed that it was based on a novel. But as soon as the credits ran and I saw the author’s name, I went to Amazon and ordered the book for my Kindle. I knew that the prose that so captured me had to be the work of the novelist whose book the movie was based upon, and reading the reviews confirmed that truth. Fugitive Pieces was first published in 1997 so it isn’t a new novel, but it may be new to you as it is to me.
“Anne Michaels has created a world of stunning, heartbreaking clarity where even the unspeakable is captured in the light-web of her words. She is a superb poet, a breath-stopping storyteller.”
“Fugitive Pieces is an utterly mesmerizing novel told from the core of a poet’s soul focusing upon our very prosaic world. It does what all great novels do: illuminate through the lights of language and intelligence the heart of a hitherto hidden human landscape.”
“Searing the mind with stunning images while seducing with radiant prose, this brilliant first novel is a story of damaged lives and the indestructibility of the human spirit. The novel will make readers yearn to share it with others, to read sentences and entire passages out loud, to debate its message, to acknowledge its wisdom.”
“A stunning work, quite beautifully written. A moving tale of survival becomes a grave and stately hymn to the revivifying qualities of language and learning.”
If you have a Netflix membership, I recommend you stream the movie; they don’t have it on DVDs yet. It’s well worth watching. FYI, the movie apparently only covers the first half of the novel. I am eager to discover the second half.
If you can’t stream it, you can order the DVD from Amazon.
And whether or not you see the movie, you may want to read the novel, too (Kindle | Paperback). As all book lovers know, the novel is almost always better than the movie just because a movie can only last about 120 minutes.
Sadly, I have a whole bunch of books in front of this one to read, including several of my own older books that need proofed for the digital editions.
So many (great) books to read.
So little (free) time.