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Beta Cinema Boards ‘The Invisibles,’ a Documentary About German Jews During WWII (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/15/2017 Elsa Keslassy
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CANNESBeta Cinema has boarded “The Invisibles,” a fictionalized documentary feature shedding light on Jewish citizens who lived in hiding when the Nazis declared Berlin “free of Jews” in 1943.

Directed by Claus Raefle and lensed by Joerg Widmer, whose credits include “Pina” and “Tree of Life,” “The Invisibles” weaves dramatic re-enactments and interviews with four survivors who were at the time teenagers and young adults. In 1943, there were 7000 Jewish men, women and children still living in the country.

Survivors are played by Cioma Schoenhaus (“Bridge of Spies”) who was earning his living as a forger of passports and Ruth Arndt (“Ghosthunters – On Icy Trails”) who pretends to be a war widow and serves black-market gourmet foods in the apartment of an Nazi officer. “The Invisibles” also tells the tale of a homeless teenage girl and a man who joins a resistance group and escapes the Gestapo.

“To us, this film represents a plea for help being necessary and possible – at any time, everywhere. If there was a way to contribute to change even under a terror regime, it should count for something today,” said Raefle, who’s also producing.

“The courage and resourcefulness of the young protagonists is inspiring. Although the circumstances were threatening and deeply tragic, there are elements which still can be uplifting and encouraging today,” added Raefle.

Meanwhile, Beta Cinema’s exec VP of acquisitions, sales and marketing Thorsten Ritter said “the process of linking dramatizations, archival material and interviews allowed the viewer (to) realize that we are in fact seeing the real life stories of these four Jewish survivors on screen.”

Ritter said the docu-drama provided a “unique historical testimonial to these individuals and the resistance.”

“The Invisibles” is produced by Look! Filmproduktion and cine plus Filmproduktion. It will be released in Germany by Tobis in the fall. Beta Cinema will present the docu-drama at private screenings during the fest.

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