Lauf Junge Lauf (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action, Drama, War
Director: Pepe Danquart
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 103 minutes

Lauf Junge Lauf (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Touching story, Andrzej and Kamil play their role great, educative value
Bad: The movie is very slow at some parts, Jurek's crying scenes
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Lauf Junge Lauf (or Run, Boy, Run) is based on a book, written by Uri Orlev and tells the story about a Jewish boy who tries to get away from the Polish ghetto in a time where the Jews are hunted down like animals (after which a brutal execution often awaits). Sit back and enjoy this emotional rollercoaster which will probably keep you pondering over times long forgotten.

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Srulik (played by Andrzej Tkacz and Kamil Tkacz) and his dad (Zbigniew Zamachowski) are being hunted down by a German squad which clearly doesn’t have a good ending for the two in mind. Srulik gets the assignment to run away and above all: survive everything they throw at him. His father urges him to forget everything he knew, take on a new name, hide his Jewish origin but above all, stay true to his beliefs. Srulik reluctantly accepts and speeds away in an adventure so harsh and unforgiving, it’s quite astonishing to know this is actually a story based on true events.

Srulik (or rather Jurek, as he calls himself now), disguises himself as a true Christian raised orphan who’s looking for a job to fill his empty stomach. After trying for a while and a lot of doors slamming shut in his face, Jurek finally finds a family with a lot of children to stay and work for food and shelter. Eventually, he becomes pretty close with the residents and at long last, he feels happy and satisfied. That is until one of the kids on the farm finds out the truth behind Jurek’s origin and as everyone lives in severe fear of seeing repercussions for helping the Jews, the boy is send packing with some food, clothes and a dog he personally rescued from a cruel fate. Like this, he travels for miles on an end (hence the title of the movie) and although he has no real family anymore and must make do with roasted duck and dirty water, Jurek is quite content. Together with his dog, he survives without much of a problem until one day, the dog is shot down by fellow traveling Jews. As he’s alone once more, Jurek knows he needs to find a new family to stay with and so he goes on a search for the second time.

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The whole movie shows the main character’s endless traveling from one spot to another while each place leaves some kind of impression on the personage. Pacing wise, Lauf Junge Lauf is a rather slow movie and you’ll have to be patient to reach the core of the tale but eventually, it’s all worth it. The way the little boy struggles to survive and especially later on in the movie, when a lot of tear-jerking events take place, you really start to see the beauty behind the title. For the people in the younger generations, it’s hard to imagine such a dire life existed so many years ago and bluntly said: it’s good they get to see how it must’ve been like to be hunted down like that, just for being slightly different. The slow pace might not suit you completely and there are times where Jurek’s misfortune feels a bit overdone but all in all, Lauf Junge Lauf tells a beautiful tale with both exciting and tranquil parts but above all, it’s a flashback to (terrible) times long forgotten. This is one of those movies teachers in high school might show their students, just to confront them with the reality in 1942. Don’t worry though, the story is good enough to leave an impression even though you know perfectly well how the situation looked like back in that time.

As the movie completely focuses on Srulik/Jurek’s story, we often only get to see a glimpse of the other characters. One of the somewhat recurring characters is Magda Janczyk, played by Elisabeth Duda. Magda is the wife of a Polish partisan (Polish soldiers who fight against the German oppression) and knows perfectly well how it’s like to find yourself in the crosshairs of the SS. She finds Jurek dying from cold and starvation and decides to look after him for a while. Her acting is pretty good although nothing especially extraordinaire. The scenes with her and Jurek are quite emotional and you can’t really pull that off by being a lousy actress.

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We also see some glimpses of Jurek’s father, played by Zbigniew Zamachowski but the amount of screen time is just too short to really give an opinion on the acting. What you see in the movie of the actor is certainly good enough to keep the plot going fluently but other than that, it’s hard to form an opinion.

Finally, we’ve arrived at the stars of the show, Andrzej Tkacz and Kamil Tkacz, who both take up the role as young Jewish boy Srulik/Jurek. You might wonder why there are two people listed for the role but that’s simply because Andrzej and Kamil are twin brothers so they took turns whilst shooting the movie. As they are twins, it’s very hard to say which part in the movie was played by who but it’s not like there was any difference in attitude or the way the character was portrayed. They both did a splendid job in bringing about a convincing and passionate performance although the only thing a bit less likeable were the parts in which Jurek cries as that came over quite artificially. Besides that, the boys were perfect for the job and you really start to like the character because of their awesome acting performances.

There are no extras coming along with the DVD box so there’s not much to tell on that part.


Lauf Junge Lauf is a rather harsh movie but the trick is to become a bit like Srulik/Jurek and find happiness in the little things. The pace might not be right up your alley at some points but it’s important to look past that and just let the story ‘touch’ you as the reward for finishing the movie is not to be underestimated. As the movie puts main character Srulik/Jurek in the spotlight during the entire 103 minutes, it’s hard to make an opinion on the other actors and actresses but generally speaking, there’s not much to complain. The twins Andrzej Tkacz and Kamil Tkacz switch around without the audience noticing it and apart from the crying sequences, the acting is really of great quality. In short, if you want to see a tear-jerking movie based on true events and with good actors, Lauf Junge Lauf is the one you’ll want to get.

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