‘Resistance’: A man of silence speaks volumes
Photo: Courtesy of IFC Films
Jesse Eisenberg as “Marcel” in Jonathan Jakubowicz’s “Resistance,” an IFC Films Release.

Resistance opens with a cheerful, but cautious family scene in Munich, Germany; mother and father reading a bedtime story to their daughter Elsbeth (the amazing Bella Ramsey/Game of Thrones and Judy). The room is filled with laughter and love as Elsbeth recites the Shema. Happily ever after? Not exactly. The date is Nov. 9, 1938.
Fast forward to Nuremberg 1945. General George S. Patton (the always marvelous Ed Harris) is addressing his troops, sharing a story of bravery and courage, setting the stage for the final act.
We return to Strasbourg in 1938 where Marcel Mangel is entertaining in a club, impersonating Charlie Chaplin. HIs father would prefer he work in the family butcher shop, but his cousin Georges (Geza Rohrig/Son of Saul) has other plans for him. One hundred and twenty-three Jewish orphans need care and he enlists his help. Working with children is not exactly his “cup of borscht,” but it seems he has a knack for for keeping the fearful children from dwelling on their misery by employing the art of pantomime. He also discovers it’s a marvelous way to impress girls — especially Emma (Clémence Poésy/In Bruges).
And so begins the personal journey of Marcel Mangel, the self-centered artist, to world-famous mime known to all as Marcel Marceau.
Joining the French resistance with his brother Alain (Félix Moati), together they flee to Limoges, where Marcel discovers that his artistic talent serves him in other ways. He develops into a skillful counterfeiter altering names and ages on passports; forging documents becomes his main job within the resistance movement. In 1943, risking his own life, he poses as a Boy Scout leader and smuggles several Jewish orphans to safety, out of the country across the border into Switzerland. Thousands of children were saved.
My heart raced throughout the suspenseful two hours of “Resistance,” especially during scenes with Klaus Barbie (Matthias Schweighöfer). Writer/director Jonathan Jakubowicz gathered a marvelous ensemble of Oscar-nominated movie stars plus the best foreign film actors to make this ambitious film. He does an amazing job of relating this incredibly heartbreaking and inspiring story, perhaps because he has his own compelling story to tell. I hope he considers putting his own tale up on the big screen one day. I would like to see “Resistance” a second time, but on a big screen where it was meant to be seen. The cinematography of M.I. Littin-Menz was simply breathtaking.
Please read my online interview at tjpnews.com with the director, Jonathan Jakubowicz which will give you more insight into the making of the film. The movie was scheduled to open at independent theaters across the country Friday, March 27. The theaters are, of course, all closed…. but as the saying goes, “the show must go on.” And indeed it shall, albeit via a slightly different route. “Resistance” will be available on demand and through the following digital platforms beginning this Friday:
Digital Platforms: iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay/YouTube, Vudu and PlayStation.
Cable Platforms: Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum (Charter, Time Warner, Brighthouse), Verizon Fios, Altice (Optimum), Cox, DirecTV, AT&T, Bend Broadband, Buckeye, Guadalupe Valley, Hotwire Communications, Metrocast, Suddenlink, WOW Internet Cable, RCN and Midcontinent Communications.
And since you’re staying home anyway…watch “Resistance” and spread the word — instead of spreading germs!

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