Storyline: On her attempt to flee the Nazi round-up of Jews in Norway, Esther finds herself alone, on an occupied farm forced to conceal her identity; leading to a series of choices and consequences which shift the paths of those around her. This story uncovers a hidden slice of history that grips at the heart and inspires us all at the deepest level.
The occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany during the Second World War began on 9 April 1940 after Operation Weserübung. Armed resistance to the German invasion ended after two months of fighting. The Norwegian king and his prewar government escaped to London where they formed a government in exile and worked with allies against the Germans. Many Norwegians assisted the Nazi government.
Like everywhere else they had power, the Nazi government began rounding up Jews and robbing them of their property and prepping for death. As Esther began running from the Germans, she leapt from a moving truck and fled through the snow and freezing temperatures. She struck up a relationship with Aksel on a family farm. Only being fifteen years old, she dressed and acted like a boy to fool the adults.
Esther’s relationship with Aksel remained strong. Aksel had numerous physical problems and faced disdain and worse from his own father, while Esther received praise and acceptance among the Norwegian family as well as their neighbors and their German rulers.
Official Trailer – imdb.com/video/vi3587096345
Esther was played by Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, who was born on December 28, 1990 in Svendborg, Denmark. She is an actress, known for Department Q: The Absent One (2014), Knightfall (2017) and The Bridge (2011).
Aksel was played by Arthur Hakalahti, who was born on October 8, 1995 in Bodø, Nordland, Norway. He is an actor, known for The King’s Choice (2016), Ida Takes Charge (2022) and Three Wishes for Cinderella (2021).
In Defense of The Birdcatcher
“No, Esther did not really look like a boy, and a few other details were not totally realistic, but so what? Overall I found The Birdcatcher effective and I was engrossed from beginning to end. Often when watching films it’s necessary to suspend disbelief and some films require it more than others. During the Holocaust, Jews did anything they could to not be captured by the Nazis. They were hunted prey. Some of the survival stories are hard to believe yet they happened. Imagine living in a sewer for a couple of years. Or a forest, or a crawl space. The cinematography was excellent with gorgeous shots of Norway in winter. The plot which is based on a true story is, as I said, engrossing. There is some fine acting too. It’s definitely worth watching unless you’re into movies like Deadpool or Guardians of the Galaxy.
The Norwegian farm constantly did business with Germans and every interaction with Esther brought her closer to exposure as a Jew.
In the end it was exposure that brought her to a finish and her quick wit let her survive, but she couldn’t work miracles.
I found the film on Prime and enjoyed the action, the story, and the daring. It was like a high wire act in a three ring circus. There was always one more thing, one more problem, one more obstacle to overcome with Esther’s center of attention. In the end there was no good way to survive for Esther, Aksel and normal people. But there was always hope.