Love, too, survives concentration camp

Review B+

December 14, 2007|By Kevin Crust | Kevin Crust,LOS ANGELES TIMES

It's a scenario that sounds like the romantic tragicomedy Woody Allen never wrote (but might have): Unhappily married, impoverished Dutch Jewish accountant Jack Polak meets young, wealthy beauty Ina Soep at a birthday party and is instantly smitten. Unfortunately, it's 1943 and the Netherlands is occupied by the Nazis. Within months, Jack, Ina and Jack's wife, Manja, are all picked up and find themselves in the same concentration camp.

But this is no piece of fiction. Director Michele Ohayon's striking documentary Steal a Pencil for Me tells this most unusual love story with grace and compassion. Through the Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen camps, Jack and Ina's relationship - kept alive primarily through letters - survives against all odds.

Steal A Pencil For Me (Seventh Art Releasing) Starring Jack Polak, Ina Soep. Directed by Michele Ohayon. Unrated. Time 94 minutes.

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