Dir: Amit Gupta
Star: Andrea Riseborough, Tom Wlaschiha, Iwan Rheon, Kimberley Nixon

An interesting take on the 'alternate history' genre, this is set during a variant of World War 2 where the Germans have invaded Britain. A platoon of Nazi soldiers are sent to a remove Welsh valley to locate and recover an antique map supposedly secreted there, and their commanding officer, Albrect (Wlaschiha) soon find the treasure. However, he realizes that as soon as he admits to having completed their mission, he and his men will likely then be sent somewhere much less pleasant. Meanwhile, the local women are struggling to cope with everyday life, as their men have all left the village to fight the invaders from the hills. Perhaps some accomodation can be reached between the parties concerned, which will make the situation less of a conflict for everyone. But not everyone is quite so pragmatic, and the cost of what could be seen as collaboration with the enemy, is not something to be taken lightly.

The performances are largely what salvage things here, the script being an unconvincing hodge-podge which has some good ideas, yet not nearly enough to sustain things for its running time. It's nice to see a war film that doesn't portray one side or the other as "the bad guys", but once this is established, it knocks the foundations out from any tension, since the Germans are no longer a significant threat. Instead, it focuses nore on the burgeoning relationship between Albrect and local woman Sarah (Riseborough), as he takes over the role of her husband, in its more platonic aspects. There's also one active resistance fighter in the village, who has to come to terms with what he is prepared to do in the name of that struggle; like most of the other aspects, this ends up underplayed and unresolved. The cinematography is luscious, and the film does a great job of generating period atmosphere. However, I'd be hard-pushed to claim this was sufficient to sustain your interest entirely, and mine was certainly waning by the time we reached an ending that's more enigmatic than conclusive.

[September 2014]

Fighting them on the bitches...
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