Coming to Digital platforms and VOD from writer/director Jonathan Jakubowicz and IFC Films comes a story of a fight without making a sound with RESISTANCE.
Marcel (Jesse Eisenberg) is a young man who isn’t exactly living life the way his father Charles Mangel (Karl Markovics) would like in their small French village. He wants to be an actor like idol Charlie Chaplin and not follow the family butcher business. Marcel does have eyes for Emma (Clemence Posey) and uses his charm and humor to keep her attention.
Asked to help with children being sent to their small town, Marcel begins to see the effects of the war with Germany during World War II on the children, especially Elsbeth (Bella Ramsey). She has seen the horrors of being Jewish and arrives with a hundred other children.
Immediately Marcel recruits his brother Georges (Geza Rohrig) working with Emma’s sister Mila (Vica Kerekes) and Alain (Felix Moati). They find a local castle as a place to get the children healthy and help them feel safe, unfortunately, it is not to last. Knowing the Germans are close, Marcel and the group know that they must get the children away quickly.
The move is swift as they start to find places for them to stay. It breaks Marcel’s heart when he turns Elsbeth over to a priest who has taken in many children. The adults find a place to hide, then the arrival of Klaus Barbie (Matthias Schweighöfer) changes everything. His ruthlessness tests the group’s ability to save children with the first trip over the Alps to Switzerland.
Where Marcel starts and the stage that he ends up on is a journey beyond belief.
Eisenberg as Marcel is a young man who seems to care more about what he wants to do with his life than what the family wants. He doesn’t understand what the problem is until he finds something to believe in that is more important than himself. Eisenberg becomes Marcel with humor, a belief in the children and doing what is right. It is a beautiful performance.
Posey as Emma is a young woman who started helping children and surprised to see Marcel joining in. This is a woman who takes chances and lives through a horror of her own. Ramsey as Elsbeth is nothing short of absolutely lovely. Coming to terms with what has happened in her life, she finds humor with Marcel that gives her moments of joy in a world that has become joyless.
Kerkes as Mila is another strong character and the sister of Emma. They are both believers in what they are doing and put themselves in harm’s way where the children are involved. Rohrig as George is surprised in what his brother can accomplish when called on. Following the group gives him hope, even among the horror. Markovics as Charles is always at odds with his sons but there comes a point where the reasons become clear and their father joins them.
Now, Schweighöfer has the difficult role of playing Klaus Barbie because this character was someone who had no soul as far as I am concerned. This actor gave everything to the role knowing that the potential of ‘hating’ him would be there. I love an actor that throws caution to the wind to make sure a character is portrayed accordingly in an important story. Well done sir.
Other cast include Edgar Ramirez as Sigmund, Alicia von Rittberg as Regine, Toby Elman as Joseph and Ed Harris as George S. Patton.
RESISTANCE is a film telling the story of a man who was not famous for his saving of thousands of children. Most know Marcel Marceau as the silent actor who had an amazing gift of entertaining the masses. Now is a chance to know something about him that is even greater.
The film is set during a time that saving one another was the only way to survive. What Marcel, Emma, George, Mila and Joseph did was dangerous, yet they threw that aside to make sure that children who would have otherwise been murdered – survived.
There are moments of complete agony to watch with Barbie making sure that he used everything in his arsenal to be feared. Yet, they continued on, continued forward even in the face of fear to do the right thing and that is everything in this film.
In the end – the best way to resist is to survive!