Films We Like presents THE INVISIBLES
A film by Claus Räfle
with MAX MAUFF, ALICE DWYER, RUBY O. FEE, AARON ALTARAS
Opens FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2019
TORONTO, (Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema)
HAMILTON (Playhouse Cinema)
OTTAWA (Mayfair Cinema)
While Goebbels infamously declared Berlin “free of Jews” in 1943, 1,700 managed to survive in the Nazi capital. Claus Räfle’s gripping docudrama THE INVISIBLES portrays the stories of four real-life young Jews who survived the Third Reich in Berlin by hiding in plain sight.
Hanni Lévy (Alice Dwyer) is an orphan who has just turned seventeen. Completely on her own, she only narrowly escapes being arrested. She dyes her hair blond and becomes invisible to her persecutors, mingling among the many pedestrians on the Kurfürstendamm and often seizing the opportunity to disappear into dark movie theaters.
In order to avoid deportation, Cioma Schönhaus (Max Mauff) also takes on a different identity. Working as a passport forger, he joins his friend Ludwig Lichtwitz (Sergej Moya) and electrician Werner Scharff (Florian Lukas) in saving the lives of dozens of Jews in danger. With his regular income, Cioma even manages to regain a certain measure of normalcy, going on sailing trips and frequenting restaurants.
Eugen Friede (Aaron Altaras) is also forced to go into hiding, but is fortunate to arrive at a comfortable home with good meals and a flirtatious young woman, the daughter of his supportive host. Yet Eugen, too – like all of the “invisibles” – will soon be obligated to move on. He joins the resistance group led by Hans Winkler (Andreas Schmidt), which is active in distributing leaflets about the true deeds of the Third Reich.
Ruth Arndt (Ruby O. Fee), together with her friend Ellen (Viktoria Schulz), dreams of a life in America. But before contemplating an escape from Germany, the two young women disguise themselves as war widows and, in secret gatherings, serve black market delicacies in the home of a Nazi officer (Horst Günter Marx).
All of them live from one day to the next, fully aware that they could be arrested and deported at any moment. Their irrepressible will to live and ingenuity give them the hope that they might make it through until the end of the war.
Masterfully weaving these story threads together with dramatic reenactments and statements from the real-life survivors, THE INVISIBLES is a testament to the resourcefulness, willpower and sheer chance needed to survive against incredible odds.
The production would like to thank the Silent Heroes Memorial Center: Resistance to the Persecution of the Jews, and particularly historians Barbara Schieb and Dr. Beate Kosmala for offering their historical expertise and support.
CLAUS RÄFLE (Director, Co-Writer, Producer)
Claus Räfle has directed over forty feature-length documentaries for television. Die Heftmacher received the Grimme Award for best work of TV journalism. Der Kandidat, “a political satire brimming with irony” (Die Welt), received honorable mention at the Max Ophüls Awards. His documentaries Blitzhochzeit in Dänemark and Die Stunde davor each received nominations for Best German TV Documentary from the Prix Europa.
FILMS WE LIKE
Founded by award-winning documentary filmmaker Ron Mann (Grass, Comic Book Confidential, Altman) Films We Like is a boutique distributor of documentary, independent and international films in Canada. Recent releases include Nico, 1988, Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood.
Running time: 110 minutes
German with English subtitles
Download press notes, hi-res photos, watch the trailer
V Kelly & Associates