Affecting portrait of a gross betrayal

SARAH WATT
Last updated 05:00 02/10/2011
Round Up

Children are rounded up by the Nazis.

Relevant offers

Film

Academy Awards: Oscars go gaga for 'La La Land' with record-tying 14 nominations Recap: The 89th Academy Awards nominations announcement Zoolander 2 leads in Razzie Awards 2017 'Last Jedi' title reveal sends 'Star Wars' fans into frenzy A real Moana experience in Hawaii: Aulani, Disney Resort & Spa and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Timaru-born Ann Brebner died January 13, 2017 after a lifetime in film and theatre Shia La Boeuf launches four year live-stream protest against Donald Trump Audiences embrace M Night Shyamalan's return to the thriller genre with Split Malia Obama is set to intern for Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein Ruby Rose's film set prank ends in tears

The Round Up M, 120 mins, three and a half stars

REVIEW: As in Sarah's Key (also released this year), The Round Up uncovers the events surrounding the July 1942 deportation, by the French authorities themselves, of nearly 14,000 Parisian Jews to Nazi concentration camps. This version takes a more traditional cinematic path, staying completely in the era and telling the stories of several characters, from young Protestant nurse Annette (Melanie Laurent) to the ill-fated Weisman family to the Fuhrer himself.

The film is pacy, almost urgent in its establishment of the key characters whose lives we watch with a heavy heart, since we all know the outcome. Initially it feels thinly drawn, as families are set up as happy-go-lucky despite sporting the yellow star that seals their fate. There is much to pack in but this film goes further and shows us the French who betrayed their own people – ordered to fill quotas of deportees whatever the human cost. One false note is in dramatising Hitler, who has become such a caricature it's impossible to portray him authentically (excepting Bruno Ganz in Downfall). That aside, the other performances draw you into the inexorable horror.

With gorgeous photography, delightful children and the universal plight of families separated, The Round Up is affecting and well-crafted.

Ad Feedback

- Sunday Star Times

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content