By Ryan McPherson
In the 70-plus years since it ended, has there been a historical event that has inspired as many filmmakers as World War II? In the decades following, hundreds, if not thousands of films, have portrayed the events contained within — from every angle one can think of.
The events of the war seemingly could’ve been concocted on the back-lots of a Hollywood studio, in the way they lend themselves to cinematic storytelling. The elements are all there: one of the most heinous villains of all time, countless atrocities, and the forces of good and evil. Unfortunately, these stories are all too real — for far too many.
With so many films based in the era, it’s easy to assume you’ve seen every variation produced. While admitting I’ve only seen dozens of the aforementioned hundreds of films, I can’t say I recall ever seeing one quite like Adira.
Adira contains very little in terms of screen time for the more well-known atrocities and only brief snippets of the good and evil. In fact, for the majority of the film, the title character is alone.
Hidden and told to flee from Nazi forces, Adira (Andrea Fantauzzi) is promised refuge through a planned escape to a farm-house — which is to serve as a meeting place for relatives also escaping the Gestapo. When she arrives, instead of finding security, Adira finds loneliness. With little in the way of food and supplies, she is forced for forage and hunt to survive. As time continues to pass, Adira’s once undying belief someone was indeed coming to join her provides question marks, but never a lack of hope.
The film sets the scene for relationships we barely see, but one built on undying love inside an unbreakable human spirit. The more well-known crimes against humanity aren’t on full display here. Adira is instead forced to live with a different torture — the unknown. Directors Irene Delmonte and Bradley J. Lincoln, haven’t provided the more commonly seen war epic or a hellacious look into a concentration camp, but have provided a story just as powerful.
Perhaps what became most disappointing about viewing Adira, had nothing to do with the film itself. Having no other option than watching a screener on a laptop diminished the visual experience Delmonte and Lincoln developed. A film driven essentially by one actor, can lag if not working in tandem with the visual experience. The filmmakers certainly cannot be faulted for this, and although the film seems stagnant at times, it might not be entirely fair to label at as such.
What can be said with certainty is Delmonte and Lincoln have added another chapter to the cinematic history of World War II and although not as recognizable as it’s predecessors, it’s story is equally significant.
ADIRA will be available on DVD and digital download May 5 and is available to Pre-Order now at: http://sunsetstudios.co/movies/adira-dvd