Directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Caroline Link, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a heartwarming adaptation of acclaimed British writer Judith Kerr’s classic semi-autobiographical children’s book of the same name. The film is mainly told from the perspective of nine year old, Anna Kemper (Riva Krymalowski). She tells the story of her Jewish family’s escape from 1933 Berlin due to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Anna’s father, Arthur (Oliver Masucci) is a prolific theatre critic and writer. He publicly opposes Hitler and the Nazi’s even before that election that will bring Hitler to power. Arthur, then, finds out that he is on a list of people that Hitler has plans to target. This forces Arthur to immediately flee to Zurich, Switzerland. Anna, her Mother, Dorothea (Carla Juri) and older brother Max (Marinus Hohmann) shortly after have to secretly follow Arthur there.
In their family’s escape to Zurich, Anna can only take one toy and two books, and struggles with leaving behind her oldest stuffed animal toy. That toy is a dear pink rabbit, and leaves it in the care of their loving housekeeper, Heimpi (Ursula Werner). Heimpi promises to bring the pink rabbit along with Anna’s suitcase of toys when she joins them in Zurich. The Kemper family arrives in Switzerland. But unfortunately, Anna finds out that the Nazis have seized their Berlin home. They also took and all of their belongings, including her pink rabbit. Anna finds herself and her family having to adjust to their new life as refugees moving through Europe. From Berlin to Zurich to Paris and onwards, they find ways to survive and stay one step ahead of the Nazis.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a beautifully moving epic journey, wonderfully directed by Link, who co-wrote the film with Anna Bruggemann. Throughout the film, the Kemper family deal with the emotional distress of loss. They also deal with discrimination, poverty and the constant looming threat of the Nazis. The actors playing the Kemper family’s have strong individual acting performances and genuine collective chemistry. That chemistry effectively communicates the story’s various emotional nuances. The Kemper family bond and love for one another is the endearing constant that anchors the film’s powerful story. It certainly will connect with young and old audiences alike. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit also has various stunning European settings with great cinematography by Bella Halben that add to the overall quality of the film.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit has plenty of heart. It is a touching coming of age story about the power of love, family. It’s also about the determination of the human spirit to find hope in even the most difficult times.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Biography, Drama, Family, History, War
- Release Date: 8/9/2021
- Directed by: Caroline Link
- Starring: Carla Juri, Justus von Dohnányi, Marinus Hohmann, Oliver Masucci, Riva Krymalowski, Ursula Werner
- Produced by: Fabian Maubach, Jochen Laube
- Written by: Anna Brüggemann, Caroline Link, Judith Kerr
- Studio: Hugofilm Features, La Siala Entertainment, Mia Film, Sommerhaus Filmproduktion, Warner Bros. Film Productions Germany