Friday, July 24, 2009

Final Paper- Fugitive Pieces

The Movie Fugitive Pieces is a piece if cinema that takes the viewer in depth to not only a boy and his extremely difficult childhood but to a time in history where all of Europe was in chaos. This movie does a superb job at telling the story of Jakob and his life, but it also goes into further detail about the struggles of the Jewish people during the Second World War. When we first see Jakob he is running through a forest trying to escape from the Nazi’s who have just stormed into his house and murder his entire family. This symbolic part of the movie comes back many times throughout the movie were see Jakob having repeated flash backs and visions of his family and early childhood. In a way they are a painful reminder of his past, a past that he can never truly leave behind and seems to be haunted by throughout most of his life. During the 1930s to the mid 1940s was a very dark time for Europe and in particular the Jewish community. Being blamed for Germany’s struggles and oppression by the Third Reich they faced a growing discrimination and it put members within this community in a very difficult place. Some were force to leave not only their homes but their country in order to escape the Nazi’s and their ever growing power, but there were those who could not leave and ultimately would pay the heaviest price. In Fugitive Pieces we get a firsthand experience of someone who has gone through this horrific event, seeing the psychological damage that it has caused Jakob and his struggle to truly fit into society and really start feeling emotions again.
After Jakob’s family gets murder the audience sees a boy that is truly devastated with his family being killed, something no person should ever see. As Jakob finds a little ditch in the forest to rest in he attracts the attention of a man who is working at a construction site. When the man walks over to see the boy he is shocked to find a little child out in the forest all by himself. As the man faces this dilemma of what to do with the boy he decides to risk his life and take the boy as his own. The relationship between Athos and Jakob is one that seems to fit perfectly, both having lost the ones they love the most this is the dynamic that allows the relationship to be so successful. As Athos takes Jakob home to Greece he truly does not know how to raise him, and during the first years of their friendship Jakob becomes very quiet and does not like to leave the house. These being the likely affect of having watched his family get murder Athos learns to be very patient and understand with him. In a way Athos becomes the farther to Jakob, taking him underneath his wing and as he gets older they become best friends. As the Nazi forces expand their campaign they reach the town of Zakynthos where Athos and Jakob live, it becomes another painful reminder for Jakob about the lost of his family and as he states “I truly do not know why I cannot get this vision”(Fugitive Pieces). As time wears on the dreams for Jakob become more intense and he starts to have flashbacks of his Mom and Dad but more particularly his sister Bella. This suggests the bond he had with her before she died and in a way she took him underneath her wing and raised him. These type of flashbacks and memories seem to haunt Jakob during his life and are always a reminder of his past.
Jakob starts to open up as a person but he also starts to expand his relationship with Athos a bit more. Jakob learns that Athos use to have a wife and that she died awhile back, Athos being entirely caught off guard when Jakob bring this up. During this scene the viewer truly sees the relationship come full circle that even though these two people from different places and immensely different backgrounds the one component that truly unites them and that is their loathing for a companion and someone else to feel their pain. For the first time where Jakob realize that he must take care of Athos because they are both damaged in their own ways. During this stage of the movie that Nazi’s have retreated out of Greece which allows more freedom for Athos and Jakob to travel. One day Athos receives a letter for a school in Toronto asking him to come and teach at their university. Athos sees this as an opportunity to start over and leave the past behind. When both Jakob and Athos arrive in Toronto it is a total new experience for one another and in way it pushes them out of their comfort zone. As time goes on Jakob starts to establish a sense of normalcy going to school and meeting people his own age. One day he meets a girl by the name of Alex, that sweeps him off his feet by the simply fact the she gives Jakob an escape. Jakob evens claims that when Alex and him are together he "longs for the loss of memory", but only for the time being. This relationship runs its course due to the simple fact that Jakob cannot get by his past and becomes obsessive about what happened when his family was murdered.
Jakob and Athos stay in Toronto for quite a long time and in some ways Jakob wishes he could escape and go somewhere new but he knows that Athos cannot travel because he is too old. One night Athos is working on his book Jakob comes in and wishes him goodnight, but in the mourning Athos dies of old age. At this point Jakob reaches a cross road in his life not sure what direction he want to go he decides to go back to Greece to bury some of Athos belongings and honor him on last night. Jakob realizes that he both likes Greece and Toronto so much he ends up splitting time between the two. While back in Toronto he meets a woman by the name of Michaela who later establish a relationship of caring and nourishment. Michaela and Jakob end up getting married and a main reason that they do is that Michaela helps Jakob forget about the painful past. Michaela does truly understand him, very similar to the way Athos was to Jakob when he was younger.
Fugitive Pieces simply a great movie! The audience sees the character of Jakob come full circle from a scared boy who had nowhere to live or no one he could trust to a man who has overcome the trauma of watching the Nazi’s murder his family. In the beginning Jakob life is a constant struggle but with the help of Athos and Michaela he learns to live a normal life, but will never forget his past.

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