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Jona Che Visse Nella Balena

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Overview

Fuzzy memories of Anne Frank's diary sometimes cause people to forget that at the height of World War II, Nazi-occupied Amsterdam was not a safe haven for Jews. While many people in the Netherlands and elsewhere risked their lives to protect them, a great many more enthusiastically assisted the Nazis in mistreating them. This children's drama is based on the autobiographical book Kinderjaren by Jonah Oberski. Beginning with his recollections as a four-year old boy, he witnesses the increasing isolation and ...
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DVD (Remastered / Wide Screen)
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Overview

Fuzzy memories of Anne Frank's diary sometimes cause people to forget that at the height of World War II, Nazi-occupied Amsterdam was not a safe haven for Jews. While many people in the Netherlands and elsewhere risked their lives to protect them, a great many more enthusiastically assisted the Nazis in mistreating them. This children's drama is based on the autobiographical book Kinderjaren by Jonah Oberski. Beginning with his recollections as a four-year old boy, he witnesses the increasing isolation and persecution of his Jewish family living in Amsterdam, until finally they are rounded up and sent to an internment camp. There, while his mother goes mad and his father grows increasingly ill, he is unwittingly drawn to become a member of the group of boys that help with the running of the camp. Jonah is played by two boys: Luke Petterson plays him as a young boy, and Jenner Del Vecchio plays him as an adolescent.
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Special Features

Trailer; Widescreen; Scene selections; Coming attractions; Dolby 5.1 & 2.0 audio
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/10/2007
  • UPC: 667443566144
  • Original Release: 1993
  • Rating:

  • Source: Picture This
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Remastered / Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 93,562

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean-Hugues Anglade The Father, Max
Juliet Aubrey Hanna, The Mother
Luke Petterson Younger Jonah
Jenner Del Vecchio Older Johan
Francesca de Sapio , Signora Daniel
Djoko Rosic Signor Daniel,
Technical Credits
Roberto Faenza Director, Screenwriter
Gianni Arduini Asst. Director
Nino Baragli Editor
Elisabetta Beraldo Costumes/Costume Designer
Elda Ferri Producer
Laszlo Gardonyi Set Decoration/Design
Janos Kende Cinematographer
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
Filippo Ottoni Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Look to the Sky
1. Amsterdam 1942 [4:57]
2. New Laws [4:20]
3. Secret Knock [5:00]
4. Headed to Palestine [4:17]
5. Singing [5:15]
6. Clandestine Holiday [4:27]
7. Moving Again [4:52]
8. New Camp [3:54]
9. Table Scraps [2:30]
10. Visiting Daddy [9:24]
11. On a Dare [4:33]
12. Infirmary [3:23]
13. Monastery Test [5:08]
14. On a Train [4:31]
15. The Russians [5:47]
16. Liberation [1:58]
17. Potatoes [4:13]
18. Not a Baby Anymore [4:55]
19. Amsterdam 1945 [3:29]
20. Red Bicycle [4:10]
21. End Credits [2:11]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Look to the Sky
   Play Movie
   Setup
      Audio Options: 2.0 Stereo
      Audio Options: 5.1 Dolby Surround
   Scene Selection
   Trailer
   Coming Attractions
      Play All
      The Recruiter
      The Boy From Lebanon
      A Love to Hide
      Before the Fall
      The Whore's Son
      Mirage
      The Great Water
      Class Trip
      Beach Cafe
      L'Amour Dangereux
   Picture This! Home Video
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    'Look to the sky and never, ever hate'

    LOOK TO THE SKY ('Jona che visse nella balena') is a little marvel of a film, one that stays with the viewer long after the credits are completed. Originally made in 1993 in Italy from a story by Hugh Fleetwood and Roberto Faenza (who also directs), this honored film re-visits the Holocaust but almost entirely through a child's eyes. The complicity between the youthful innocence and the unspeakable reality results in a story, rendered by a superb cast, that shares an entirely different light on the effect of the Nazi 'Jewish Solution'. Jonah at five years old (New Zealander Luke Petterson who was indeed age 5 when the movie was made) in 1942 lives in Amsterdam with his loving mother (Juliet Aubrey) and father (Jean-Hugues Anglade) in a family situation that is filled with love and optimism. Into this setting advance the Nazi occupiers, brand all of the Jews with yellow stars and gradually sequester them, making life crowded and difficult. Jonah narrates all of the action and his viewpoint is untainted by the reality of what is happening. His family is finally removed from their home and transported to a Dutch village where Jonah is told they will all be headed for Palestine soon. But instead of Palestine the intact family is transported to a concentration camp where Jonah and his mother are separated from his father. Jonah watches as his mother is in forced labor and makes friends with other children as best he can, even winning a place in the kitchen for food secretly delivered by the camp cook. Jonah ages to 8 years (Jenner Del Vecchio) and though frail he is able to exist under the protection and feigned optimism of his mother who repeatedly advises Jonah that whenever the world seems bad, 'look to the sky and never ever hate'. Jonah's father is allowed to see his family for a stolen moment, a time when the father and mother attempt to hide their anguish in a moment of passion, a moment Jonah witnesses. Soon after, his father dies and eventually his mother dies at the moment when the Allied Forces are freeing the prisoners. Jonah is returned to Amsterdam where he is taken in by friends of the family and how he deals with his memories so firmly embedded in his mind and manages to go on living is the tender ending to the story. The 5-year-old Luke Petterson is a wonder as Jonah, managing to create a credible character almost entirely by facial expressions (his lines are minimal). And Aubrey and Anglade are superb as is the young Jenner Del Vecchio and the rest of the supporting cast. The film is in English, Yiddish, and German but is without subtitles - a factor that actually enhances the story as Jonah does not understand the words of the Nazis, only their actions, and that places the audience in a compatible mindset with the child. The cinematography by János Kende captures the essence of beauty of Amsterdam as well as the horrors of the concentration camp and the award-winning score by Ennio Morricone is one of this master's finest. Few films dealing with the Holocaust are as moving as this. It is a must see for all viewers. Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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