Keswick Film Club - Reviews - The Bird Catcher

Reviews - The Bird Catcher

The Bird Catcher

Reviewed By Chris Coombes

The Bird Catcher
The Bird Catcher
Last Sunday's film was a hit with much of the Film Cub audience, but not with me. It is a Norwegian film directed by Ross Clarke. The story is that of a young Jewish girl escaping Nazi persecution in 1942. The fact that it was in English was a puzzle. It meant that the dialogue was stilted and unconvincing, given that the actors were Norwegian.

For me this was not the only problem. The writer, Trond Morten Kristensen, wanted to expose truths about Norwegian collaboration with the Nazis during the war. It should have been a hard-hitting film about antisemitism, human rights and why people feel they must collaborate in dire circumstances. In fact, it was sentimentalised and trivialised to such as extent that even the lovely photography of a snowy landscape could not redeem the film for me. The awful musical score added to the irritation and the whole thing seemed oddly old fashioned – as if it could have been made 30 years ago.

However, watching the film led to some lively discussion in the car on the way home. This is why I love to go to the Film Club each Sunday. There's always something entertaining to talk about and there's always the hope that next week's film will be better, and as it happens it will be – much, much better!

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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

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