Brought to vivid, colorful life.
Review by: MiamiMovieCritic
Added: 8 years ago
Why make a war movie? Why relive all of the horror and destruction that war causes? One good reason is because war, whether we like it or not (and I hope we don’t), is a big part of the human condition. That’s why the best war movies always put a human face on the tragedy. My Friend is such a war movie. It’s a powerful World War II film.
Brothers Karl (Daniel Soderlind) and Hugo (Andre Pacheco) are hiding out in the Belgium city of Antwerp after the country has fallen to the Nazis. The boys (Hugo is about 12, while Karl is many years older) are Jewish. Their plan is to wait for their parents so they can all leave together. But the parents never show. Instead, a wounded German soldier, Jorn (Hakan Bengtsson), arrives at their doorstep. He claims to have abandoned the fight and is seeking refuge.
This story has been brought to vivid, colorful life by writer/director Gustav Gribel and his two cinematographers, Marten Berg and Hampus Schildfat. The attic where the boys are staying is filmed in warm colors – it’s their sanctuary from the cruelty of the outside world. The movie is visually bookended by two shots showing each brother on a rocky beach.
All of the actors are terrific, especially Pacheco, who makes a memorable impression as young Hugo. Two more factors that give the movie its special resonance and poignancy: a drawing Hugo gives to Jorn, and a postscript suggesting the movie is based on fact.