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A Woman at War (1991)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, Thriller | TV Movie
With the Occupation of Brussels by the Nazis, Helene could forget her ideas of a university degree. Her energy turned towards the hidden fight against the occupiers and gradually, ... See full summary »

Director:

Edward Bennett
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martha Plimpton ... Helene Moszkiewiez
Eric Stoltz ... Franz Bueller
Jack Shepherd ... Tobias Moszkiewiez
Kika Markham ... Regine Moszkiewiez
Claire Hackett Claire Hackett ... Lily
John Bowler ... Albert
Sean Chapman ... Jean
Olgierd Lukaszewicz ... Lt. Col. Schwenke
Eugeniusz Kujawski Eugeniusz Kujawski ... Col. Mueller
Richard Durden ... Jaques
Paul Mooney Paul Mooney ... Pasquier
Struan Rodger ... White
Jonathan Cullen Jonathan Cullen ... Delafield
Jean Murphy Jean Murphy ... Mlle. Jouret
Ben Robertson Ben Robertson ... Bertrand
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Storyline

With the Occupation of Brussels by the Nazis, Helene could forget her ideas of a university degree. Her energy turned towards the hidden fight against the occupiers and gradually, inevitably, she joined the Resistance movement. Written by Bjorn Stenberg <bjst@sth.frontec.se>

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Plot Keywords:

ss | based on novel | See All (2) »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some acts of violence

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Also Known As:

Egy nő a háborúban See more »

Filming Locations:

Wroclaw, Dolnoslaskie, Poland

Company Credits

Production Co:

Canal+, Palace Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This tele-movie's closing epilogue states: "Hélène Moszkiewiez emigrated to Canada where she now lives." See more »

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User Reviews

In Praise of Martha (and the Film).
20 March 2001 | by Carlo HoutkampSee all my reviews

Of the three war movies that have most impressed me so far, Hanna's War (1988), The Hiding Place (1975) and A Woman at War (1991), the last one is the most skillfully directed. But the film has another advantage: Martha Plimpton. She is one of the most charismatic and talented American actresses I know of and in my opinion those models with double names rather than actresses who are currently making a career in Hollywood should take a look at Martha and take her genuine radiance and convincing acting as an example.

Along with this, I have the impression A Woman at War is one of the last Hollywood films (filmed in Warsaw by the way) that was not hindered by the over-glamorous and slick looking Titanicesque photography which for me partly ruins otherwise nice films such as The Astronaut's Wife, The Sixth Sense and most of all American Beauty. Could it be Panavision changed its lenses or Kodak its film since then? Probably not, it is merely a result of today's producer, director and camera boss focusing on the overall 'clean' look of the film rather then on impact and naturalness and hence they instruct the lighting crew to make that light a little softer, a little warmer and tell the make up department to apply that make up a little thicker, a little harder. A Woman at War is 'pure' and timeless in its looks and is a joy to watch.

To come back to Martha Plimpton, I think her performance in this film is magnificent. Her character, Helene, really comes to life. However, I had expected -and I am aware this is rather a matter for scriptwriter and director- a somewhat more emotional response (sadness perhaps?) to the tragic things she experiences: losing relatives and being confronted with the corpses of murdered companions. Of course times are rough, and Helene must be tough in order to survive the war and fight in the resistance, but I now get the impression that it is a taboo thing for the heroic character, who is, if I am correct, not only a tough fighter but also a sensitive, social and young girl, to cry or be shocked and desperate.

Yet, the film stands solidly and what is quite pleasant and exceptional is that the story is not melodramatic and does not rely on easy sentimental scoring. Some story lines are left open and there are many interesting but believable plot twists. For instance, in the end we are still not certain, like Helene, whether Eric Stoltz's character was basically good or has betrayed his friends. Great in this light is the scene in which Helene runs from a streetcar because she runs the risk of being caught carrying weapons and as a result is faced with a dilemma, and the one in which Franz comes in to identify her as a criminal and shows nothing but his own real(?) face.

A great story, greatly told. With a wonderful lead actress, which I hope will soon start in another lead role: Martha Plimpton.


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