The Undercover War

The Undercover War

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Read Amber Wilkinson's film review of The Undercover War

The DVD extras here are actually better than the film itself, when it comes to educating us about Luxembourg during the occupation. Almost an hour is devoted to two excellent and revealing interviews with two men who lived through the period. Aloyse Raths was a resistance leader and his story of the occupation and his bravery and luck are almost worth purchasing the DVD for in its own right. In a second interview Ady Mergen, who spent seven months living in an iron mine, reveals what it was really like to be a réfractaire. The picture he paints is much grimmer and grimier than that shown in the film and really brings home the terrible choice these young men were faced with.

Rounding out the extras is a brief audience Q&A with director Nicolas Steil and co-writer Jean-Louis Schesser and an interview with the director. The Q&A is more lke a reaction piece to the film, as the audience members - many of whom look a though they lived through the period themselves - offer further anecdotes and comments about the time. Steil's interview rounds out the package, as he explains the process he went through when creating the film and the levels they went to to achieve authenticity. Although the end result doesn't quite achieve the veracity he hoped for, it's certainly true that he went to some lengths to get the cast to bond and faced the pressures brought about by choosing to shoot 12-hour days within an actual mine. One of the few DVDs that can be recommended as much for the extras as for the main feature.

Copy picture

In fact, the only downside to the DVD, is its apallingly misleading cover artwork. There are no planes, tanks or any frontline action in the film, despite what its cover might lead you to believe.

Reviewed on: 15 Jan 2011
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The Undercover War packshot
A young Luxembourger dodges the German draft by hiding out in an iron mine.
Amazon link

Product Code: OPTD 1994

Region: 2

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Interviews, Q&A, trailer

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