Artikelnummer 5551

THE STOLEN BORDER (Uloupená hranice) (1947) * with hard-encoded English subtitles *

Jirí Weiss Writers: Miloslav Fábera, Bohumil Stepánek | 1 more credit » Stars: Ladislav H. Struna, Rudolf Deyl, Rudolf Siroký

The Stolen Border depicts a topic which is of little interest to Western viewers, but which was still very much controversial at the time of its making: the Munich Crisis and the abandonment of the Sudetenland to Hitler by the Czechs' "Western allies". In a small village on the Czech-German border, many of the Czechs are fleeing the increasing provocations by both agents crossing into their country from the Reich and from their Sudeten neighbors. The film doesn't hesitate to suggest that until these Nazi-inspired provocations, relations between the Germans and Czechs in the Sudetenland were very good. Now, with the exception of one German married to a Czech and another in love with a Palestinian Jew, every German to a man in the village has turned disloyal to the Czech government and is openly hostile to their neighbors. Supplied from across the border, the Sudeten Germans launch guerilla attacks against their peaceful neighbors and besiege a small border garrison, which is ordered by Prague to keep at least 500 meters from the border to prevent providing the Germans with a pretext to invade. The Germans are so brutal, of course, that even the son of the German married to the Czech woman shows no remorse when his mother is shot by a comrade and his father hangs himself. Nor does he shirk from tricking his sister and stabbing her to escape from confinement. In the end, the Czechs manage to suppress the local rebellion with the help of a border guard unit which shows up in the nick of time, a la the American Cavalry rescuing settlers from vicious Indians. The film doesn't go on to mention that within a month, the border areas will be forfeited to the Germans, but does say how all the deaths were in vain, thanks to the betrayal of the West.

When watching this film, one should bear in mind that Czechoslovakia was recently liberated from a vicious German occupation; however, it was also made in a year which marked the end of one of the most brutal expulsions of the local German population in postwar Eastern Europe. Since history is written by the victors, it will take effort for those interested in knowing the truth to explore how much of these Sudeten German provocations were true and how they behaved in reality. Exaggerated or not, for those familiar with it, this film has an unpleasant similarity to Heimkehr; this time, however, with the German minority viciously attacking and oppressing their Czech neighbors instead of Poles oppressing and viciously torturing Germans in Volhynia.  Both films were made to justify biases against another nationality and to incite anger, fear and hatred. Regardless of the veracity of claims made in both films, the end result is a very one-sided view with utter callousness and a complete lack of human empathy.

DVD-R is in Czech with hard-encoded English subtitles. Approx. 81 mins. See film sample for audio and video quality!


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