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Docudrama On Jews In Nazi Germany Can't Decide On Docu- Or Drama: 'The Invisibles'

"In 1943, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels announced that Berlin was now "Jew-free." The four young protagonists of The Invisibles know this isn't true: They're Jewish and still there. But none of them has any idea that an estimated 7,000 other Jews had thus far also escaped the dragnet. One of the terrors this docudrama evokes is isolation."

"The first of the four to appear onscreen is Cioma Schonhaus (Max Mauff), an art student who's just beginning to develop the document-forging skills that will allow him to live and even prosper. Before introducing the other three, director and co-writer Claus Rafle cuts to the real Schonhaus, filmed a decade ago."

"The Invisibles is something of a thriller, but the survival of its main characters is never in doubt. The movie is based on hours of 2009 interviews with the people it portrays (two of whom have since died)."

"Rafle terms The Invisibles a "hybrid." Like the recent Who Will Write Our History, the film mixes reenactments, archival footage, and relatively recent interviews. But the two movies balance these ingredients differently. The Invisibles is mostly dramatization, which makes the interviews distracting. They're interesting on their own, but here they play like DVD extras that managed to infiltrate the main feature — and sometimes hold it hostage."


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