Fugitive Pieces is one of those rare movies that comes along and really stirs something inside its audience. Director Jeremy Podeswa vividly captures humankind’s endless struggle between love lost and learned through the eyes of his central character Jakob. Jakob witnesses firsthand his parents killed by Nazi soldiers while his sister Bella is dragged away. Jakob has immediately lost a love that is essential to any human being, yet alone a child. He is left merely with the memories of his parents and Bella that both haunt him and comfort him. With Jakob’s heart left scarred, he longingly waits for someone that will come along and heal his wound.
Jakob encounters various relationships throughout his lifetime that slowly begin to fill that void. A Greek anthropologist named Athos, who finds Jakob immediately after losing his family, takes Jakob in as his own son and provides him with the loving care of a parent that he so needed after the passing of his parents. Jakob later in his life seeks solace in a woman named Alex that he sees at first as a light to his darkness that will somehow save him. Although Alex is a saving grace in the beginning of their relationship, Jakob feels that his grief does not agree with her “shameless vitality” as he quotes in his writings. It isn’t until he meets the beautifully intelligent Michaela that Jakob begins to fill whole again. He has finally found someone that truly complements him. Jakob is finally able to slowly let go of his obsession over the loss of his family and able to open his heart to someone he has waited for his entire life to come along.
Fugitive Pieces delivers a message of hope to its audience. As Athos once said to Jakob as a child, “you can choose to see what destroys something, or what saves it.” Jakob finally chooses to not let the memories of his family ruin his life and decides instead to survive and prosper by letting Michaela into his heart.