Eric Bana and Ciarán Hinds are in over their heads in director John
Crowley's thriller Closed Circuit.
(Ciarán Hinds)—and they know a lot more
than more than they are saying.
Closed Circuit is well acted by a capable
cast, and well directed by John Crowley. But
the film abruptly stops, leaving audiences to
wonder if they've just seen an enhanced
version of the BBC's spook show MI-5 or if
the filmmakers decided to just let the credits
A-3, R ■ Language and violence.
owned by Jews were then divided up among
the villagers, including Franciszek and
Józef's father. As the two brothers unravel
the mystery of what happened, they face
their own prejudices, guilt, and grief—as
individuals and, in a way, standing in for
their father and a nation.
Aftermath, which seems to be based on
the 2001 book Neighbors: The Destruction of
the Jewish Community of Jedwabne, Poland,
caused much controversy when it was
released. In fact, theaters in Poland would
not play it, though it won an award at
Poland's prestigious Gdynia Film Festival.
While it is true that many Catholic-Polish
people aided the Jews during World War II,
not all were blameless.
Aftermath is a timely film because of
reemerging anti-Semitism and racial prejudice in Poland and throughout Europe that
calls out for awareness and for justice wherever it exists. The film is in Polish with English subtitles.
Not yet rated ■ Mature themes and peril.
CNS PHOTO/SONY PICTURES CLASSIC
It is almost the year 2000. Franciszek
(Ireneusz Czop) returns to Poland after 20
years of living in Chicago. He makes his
way to a small village and the family farm
run by his younger brother, Józef (Maciej
Stuhr). Franciszek did not come home when
his parents died, but when Józef's wife and
children showed up at his door in Chicago,
he has come home to find out what is
The village has turned against Józef
because he has been doing strange things
such as digging up large stones from the
roads around the village and around the bell
tower of the local Catholic church. The
younger priest sides with the townspeople
who are ready to commit violence against
Józef for his behavior. But the older priest,
who is on the verge of retirement, supports
Józef. The stones in question are headstones
taken from a Jewish cemetery that no longer
Everything in the story goes back to
World War II when the Catholics in the village turned against the Jews after a visit
from the Gestapo, herding them into a
farmhouse and setting it on fire. The farms
In the controversial Polish drama Aftermath, Ireneusz Czop plays a
man forced to confront his family's past.
Catholic Cl assifications
Adults and adolescents
Limited adult audience
The Catholic News Service Media Review Office
gives these ratings. See usccb.org/movies.
Find reviews by Sister Rose and others at
November 2013 ❘ 9