The Boy in the Woods ★★★ — Jewish Renaissance

He puts his skills to good use, eventually managing to light a fire. He builds a shelter from fallen branches, forages for berries and traps and roasts a rabbit. With charcoal from charred twigs, he draws the faces of his family onto rocks. Placing them around him, he recites a Hebrew blessing. Despite railing against God, he clings to his Jewish identity and the drawings hint at his future career as an artist.

His clothes become ragged, and his shoes are in tatters. One day he finds Yanek, an abandoned child of a similar age, and takes him under his wing. Max tries to instil in his young companion the courage and skills passed on to him by his own mother and by Jasko. Together they discover a group of massacred Jews and rescue a living baby, still held by her murdered mother.

There are gripping, touching moments and tragedy; I’m sure I was not the only audience member in tears. Eventually, the Red Army liberates the area and Jasko can take Max back to his hometown.

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