True Stories: "The Lost Train": Gripping anti-war drama

Destinies between yesterday and tomorrow, people between horror and hope: In her feature film "The Lost Train", the Dutch author and director Saskia Diesing looks back to the time shortly before the end of the Second World War.

True Stories: "The Lost Train": Gripping anti-war drama

Destinies between yesterday and tomorrow, people between horror and hope: In her feature film "The Lost Train", the Dutch author and director Saskia Diesing looks back to the time shortly before the end of the Second World War.

The Nazis are defeated, but the war is not officially over yet. In April 1945, a train carrying Jewish prisoners from a concentration camp in Brandenburg ran aground. A fateful encounter between three very different women takes place.

First, the 29-year-old Jewess Simone (Hanna van Vliet), who is staggering off the death train, and the 21-year-old Russian sniper Vera (Eugénie Anselin) from the Red Army meet. Hunger brings them together. In a nearby village they try to find food.

They shoot a butcher's wife. Their 17-year-old daughter Winnie (Anna Bachmann), who was influenced by Nazi ideology, is shocked and joins them. Together they finally try to find new ways of life.

Close to reality

The train actually existed. The typhoid epidemic in Zug and the village, which had a decisive influence on events, really did happen. Saskia Diesing has researched carefully. Her approach, however, was shaped by something personal: one of her uncles survived the odyssey and the typhus infection as a baby. However, the women in the film's narrative are fictitious.

Saskia Diesing does not show the three as heroines. She first illuminates the all-determining distrust, the fears, then subtly observes how closeness nevertheless develops. What is particularly impressive is that it shows with emotional power how people who are initially alien, if not downright hostile, can find common ground. "The Lost Train" ultimately becomes a symbol of the beauty and strength of female solidarity that goes far beyond the story told.

The Lost Train, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany 2022, 101 minutes, FSK o.A., by Saskia Diesing, with Hanna van Vliet, Eugénie Anselin, Anna Bachmann

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