Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Austeria (1982)

Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia

In the opening days of WWI, an innkeeper shelters fellow Jews who are fleeing the invading Cossacks. At first only a few trickle in, including a family whose teenage daughter has been killed. They reverentially keep her corpse in a back room. Later, a sect of Hasidic Jews and their Rebbe seek shelter. They can barely restrain themselves from breaking out in traditional songs and dances, much to the consternation of the innkeeper who thinks it is not only dangerous but disrespectful to the recently deceased girl. The Cossacks eventually ransack the nearby town and many leave to try to help. The Hasidic Jews, meanwhile, decide to bathe in a nearby river.... An odd film that takes place mostly inside the inn, giving it the feel of a play. It is occasionally interrupted by dream sequences and of course the dancing and singing of the Hasidic sect, which can be overbearing and feels a little stereotyped.

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