On DVD from the acclaimed novel by Owen Sheers, director/writer Amit Gupta, Omnibus Entertainment and Film Movement comes the story of a village finding their way to stand strong and show “Resistance.”
It is 1944 during a difficult time in the war. D-Day has devastated the country while Panzers and Nazi troops invade the countryside. In a quiet village, this particular morning starts with the women waking up to find all the men have vanished.
Sarah’s (Andrea Riseborough) husband is one of the men but she believes he is gone to join the top secret group called BRO. Speaking with the other women, they agree that it is important to keep the home front safe and continue on.
What they didn’t expect was a Wehrmacht platoon setting up an outpost in one of the homes. Leading the platoon is Albrecht (Tom Wlaschiha), a commanding officer who wants to remain low-key while looking for those in the resistance. Albrecht tries to find a common ground with the women of the village but they are emotionally shut down.
What none of them know is that George (Iwan Rheon) is a young man from the village who wants to do his part. After meeting with Tom Atkins (Michael Sheen), he does what is necessary to make a dent in the activities of the group in his village.
When Albrecht befriends Sarah, it confuses everyone including Albrecht’s own men. It all comes to a head when the war moves closer to the village and each makes their own move to resist.
Riseborough as Sarah is just stunning! Her recent role in the stellar film “Nocturnal Animals” and “Birdman” show her strength in portraying memorable characters and Sarah is one of them. Stoic and conflicted, every bit of it shows in her behaviors and it is impossible not to feel it through the screen.
Wlaschiha as Albrecht is a commanding officer who shows this dual personality. One moment he is thoughtful, emotional and shows caring and then next he has no problem ordering the death of someone. He reaches out to Sarah’s character understanding the rejection but still wanting something other than what the war makes him feel.
Rheon as George is such a far cry from his role in the hit series “Game of Thrones.” In “Resistance” he is a young man who believes he has a duty to protect the villagers and, as Tom says, he must be prepared to do the unthinkable.
Sheen as Tom has a small role here but it lays the groundwork and understanding of what the men of this particular village face. Kimberley Nixon plays Bethan, a young woman trying to understand what the war is doing to everyone. Melanie Walters as Helen Roberts is a strong woman but knows that perhaps flexibility might be the answer to surviving but the results are disastrous.
Other cast include Stanislav Ianevski as Bernhardt, Anatole Taubman as Sebald, Simon Armstrong as George’s Father, Mossie Smith as Ruth, George Taylor as Gernot and Sharon Morgan as Maggie.
Film Movement is celebrating its 15th year in 2017, Film Movement has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide, and last year it had its first Academy Award-nominated film, “Theeb.” Film Movement’s theatrical distribution strategy has evolved to include promising American independent films, documentaries, and an even stronger slate of foreign art house titles. Noted directors Film Movement brings are Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com.
“Resistance” is an extraordinary film about the struggles of war added with the fear of survival through this particularly harsh winter. Trying to take care of their own, there is no way this village is going to accept occupation by anyone which is something Albrecht never understands.
It is totally realistic to think that several of the women in the village try to find a compromise with their “captors,” even if they know deep down there is no such thing as compromise. “Resistance” takes the viewer on a journey through every human emotion with shocks that lead to the very end.
This cast is stunning together as Riseborough and Wlaschiha lead the entire film in so many directions it is impossible to take your eyes off the screen.
In the end — the lines are blurred between collaboration, occupation, duty and survival!