More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 0 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Fatal Beauty by Jack Sommersby

Sliver by Jack Sommersby

On the Rocks by Peter Sobczynski

Spontaneous by Peter Sobczynski

Kajillionaire by Jack Sommersby

Dressed to Kill by Jack Sommersby

Abracadabra (2019) by Jay Seaver

Sword and the Sorcerer, The by Jack Sommersby

Siege of Firebase Gloria, The by Jack Sommersby

Wild Geese II by Jack Sommersby

subscribe to this feed

Birch-Tree Meadow, The
[] Buy posters from this movie
by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Static Holocaust drama"
3 stars

Whether fairly or not, films about the Holocaust have become notorious for their moralistic slant, a tendency to collapse all too easily into pat lessons that We Must Never Forget, and similar sentiments. That's what we have here with THE BIRCH-TREE MEADOW, an admittedly well-intentioned film that never becomes more than a high-minded history lesson.

Anouk Aimee plays an aging Holocaust survivor who returns to the now-decaying site of the infamous Birkenau concentration camp (the name of which translates into English as "a birch-tree meadow") to relive memories of those evil days. There, she meets another sightseer, a young German man with his own reasons for visiting the camp.

And... that's about it, really. This is the problem with THE BIRCH-TREE MEADOW, and it's a big problem: its approach to its subject is essentially non-dramatic. Mainly, the movie consists of Aimee wandering around and, well, remembering things. She has no clearly defined goal. It's hard to dramatize a person's internal conflicts; somehow, you have to find a visual correlative to moods, feelings, thoughts, none of which are easily expressed. Director Marceline Loridan Ivens falls considerably short of the task.

For all the undeniable weight of its subject matter, the film feels thin, undeveloped. Its defects are only underscored by the awkward ending, a strained attempt to bring down the curtain on a "powerful" note.

Though it's nice to see Anouk Aimee again, you're finally left with a movie more noble than skillful.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 04/02/04 21:21:04
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 City of Lights / City of Angels Film Festival. For more in the 2004 City of Lights / City of Angels Film Festival series, click here.

Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum




Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast