Another "Help me remember the title of a movie I liked" thread

I rented it on DVD from Netflix back yonder before streaming. Netflix used to have a place where you could look at all the movies you’ve ever rented, but if it’s still a feature, I couldn’t find it today.

Movie takes place in Europe, WWII. As I recall, the title is one word beginning (maybe) with an “L,” possibly the name of a town.

A resistance group is hiding Jews, smuggling them to safe locations of various kinds all over. The protagonist is a woman, city girl, fairly sophisticated, well-educated. She is rescued by the group, put on a train (the beginning is pretty tense and action-packed) and she is escorted to an isolated mountain village where she is to take the role of the wife of one of the villagers. He’s a woodworker (I think), maybe furniture-maker. Maybe he’s a widower (can’t remember). He’s a nice enough guy, but a simple peasant, really. I can’t remember if they speak the same language-- maybe not. She is given appropriate clothing, and takes up residence in his cabin, where they have no more contact with each other than is absolutely necessary. She is very cranky and resistant, especially when she finds out she has to cook, clean, do chores, and basically fit in with the other women. He resents having her there and there are no sexy vibes between them. Her grudging acceptance of necessity isn’t treated in a humorous way at all, or like a rom-com. And in contrast with how she gets to the village, this part is NOT action-packed. It’s a grim, daily round of hard work, necessary for survival.

Day by day she resigns herself to village life-- I don’t remember much about this part, but it’s presented in a heartfelt way where you see the struggles of everyone to survive every day. The war is very far away. Gradually she comes to admire the character of her hard-working “husband,” his integrity, his values, even though he has no education and is nothing like her. There is one very moving moment where she goes to her separate bed and leaves a towel and soap out where he can find it, and that’s her non-verbal invitation for him to join her. It sounds trivial and trite when I describe it in this abridged plot summary, but it’s very delicate and sweet when it happens. I think all together she may have spent a couple of years in the village–not sure.

I’m not going to give away any more in case anyone is intrigued enough to look for it once y’all tell me the name! :stuck_out_tongue:

Some bad stuff happens, and eventually the war is over and she returns to her sophisticated city life and many years go by. At the very end as a much older woman, she finds her way back to what is left of the village and there is this poignant retrospective scene where she remembers that brief time when she became another person in another life. She remembers the village community life, the man she came to love… it will have you (if you’re a sensitive puddle of a person like me) sobbing your heart out over the fleeting quality of life, memories, time passing and stuff like that.

Anybody know this one? There could be a pan of cashew fudge in it for you.

P.S. I found this good movie-lookup site, for future reference. I didn’t have enough specific details for it to help with this movie, but it might be a good site to bookmark.

I don’t recognize the movie, but as for this, go to the page that lists your queue (list of movies yet to be rented along with the ones currently being sent to you or that you have received). There is a link there called “history” that should show every movie you ever rented.

Where is that page? Under “my account”? I don’t have a queue any more, nor a list of movies sent or received. I only use streaming. I remember that there used to be an easily accessible history back when I got the DVDs. I can’t find history any more.

I did just find a place (“download my information”) where I can request a list of all the movies I’ve watched or rented (how do they know whether I’ve watched a whole movie?). Presumably they’re sending a request for confirmation to my email address. Haven’t gotten it yet.

Just got this reply from Netflix:

Your request is in progress

Your personal information is being prepared for download. When it’s ready, we’ll notify you at the email address for your account. As a reminder, this process can take up to 30 days.

30 Days??

Sorry. I didn’t realize you’re no longer a DVD-by-mail subscriber.

Was it this one? (Also known as Liberte)


I did a search on emails to a friend with whom I used to discuss movies. The DVD is available from amazon, but apparently it’s not streaming anywhere. I might have to buy it; it left quite a strong impression on me.

A nurse and her surgeon-lover are part of a resistance movement in 1940s Czechoslovakia. When they are discovered, her lover flees and she must find a place to hide. A patient whose life she saved, a man from a remote mountain village where time stopped 150 years ago, agrees to hide her as his wife.

There are 36 reviews. Here are a couple.

A viewer review:

Set in Eastern Europe during the Nazi occupation, this is the story of a young, urbane, freedom fighter woman who faces discovery and capture every day in the big city. When the heat gets too high, her leaders suddenly send her away, to lessen the risk on her and everyone else. She just as suddenly finds herself with people she does not know, understand, or even like – who make decisions for her in an isolated, “backward” mountain village. How could life get any worse? What is her reason for living any longer? Well, she will see… she will see… one hard day at a time. This is a quietly powerful film, full of natural grandeur, human pettiness, the ebb and flow of pain and pleasure, forgiveness and revenge, taking and giving, and faith and hopelessness. “Zelary” is epic in scope, and full of Life’s lessons. It lacks nothing.

Another review with more of a summary-- gives you an idea of the depth of the story:

A deep and lasting love does not always fit our pictures and indeed can arise from the most unlikely circumstances. In Zelary, a Czech film by Ondrej Trojan, an abiding romance between a rugged sawmill worker and a sophisticated medical student emerges from the conflict in Czechoslovakia during World War II. Based on the autobiographical novel Jozova Hanule by Kveta Legatova, Zelary is about a young medical student who is forced to live in a remote mountain village in order to escape the Gestapo. It is a film that poignantly depicts the upheaval of war and how people had to call upon their hidden resources simply to survive.

Set in May 1943 when the Germans, under the guise of a protectorate, occupied Bohemia and Moravia, Aliska (Ana Geislerova), a student in Prague, works as a nurse in a provincial hospital after the Nazis close the universities. As the film opens, she is having an affair with Richard (Ivan Trojan), a successful surgeon. Both are members of the Czech resistance movement along with their superior at the hospital. When a planned underground operation fails, Richard is forced to emigrate and Eliska is given a new identity and safe passage to live out the war in the mountain village of Zelary with Joza (Gyorgy Cserhalmi), a patient at the hospital whose life was saved by Eliska’s blood donation.

It is clear from the outset that her adjustment to rural life will take time. Upon reaching the cottage after a long journey, she asks, “Where’s the yard?” “Everywhere”, he replies, She has a hard time living in an area without electricity or plumbing and goats running freely but, given the alternative, she doesn’t complain. Eliska, now known as Hana, is met with suspicion by the residents of Zelary who wonder where Joza found her, but she is eventually accepted when she agrees to a marriage of convenience with Joza and begins to integrate herself into the life of the community. At a length of 150 minutes, the film becomes an epic of Hana’s gradual adjustment to rural life while living in daily fear of her discovery by the Gestapo. At first, she is reluctant to let Joza touch her but he gradually wins her trust with his gentle manner and she comes to rely on him as her means of protection. In one touching scene, he gently bathes Hana after finding her bruised and drenched in a violent rainstorm.

While Zelary has its tender moments, it is not an idyllic romp through the Czech countryside. The village has its share of drunkenness, abusive husbands, and violent confrontations between parents and children and Hana has to learn to deal with them. In one subplot, the schoolteacher Tkac (Jaroslav Dusak), a strict disciplinarian, constantly berates a young boy named Lipka (Tomas Zatecka) who has problems at home. Lipka leaves the school and is forced to hide in a cave to escape his abusive stepfather (Ondrej Koval), aided only by his friend, Helenka (Anna Vertelarova), a five-year-old girl. As the war refuses to go away, both Hana and Joza have to deal with fear and sudden death, and they both become increasingly resourceful and self-reliant. Hana forms a strong bond with the local midwife, Lucka (Jaraslov Adamova) who teaches her about herbal remedies and allows her to help with the medical needs of the community, exacerbated by the sudden presence of voracious Russian troops.

Zelary does not break any new ground and some of the minor characters are one-dimensional, yet the film reaches us on an emotional level because of its sincerity and disdain for sentimentality. Nominated at the 2003 Oscars for Best Foreign-Language Film, the film is greatly enhanced by the compelling performances of both Geislerova and Cserhalmi, a Hungarian-born actor who exudes both physical and emotional strength. Though I would have liked to learn more about Aliska before and after the war and how her experiences had changed her, Zelary succeeds by transcending limitations of time and place and speaking directly to the human heart.

No, but that one looks great.

Another interesting comment from the viewer reviews of Zelary:

The DVD contained an addition about making of the movie. A few items of interest - the main characters were of different language groups and could not in fact communicate as the film was made - the woman Czech I think, the man Hungarian. The film took aver a year to film, so that the change of seasons could be shown and so that the young characters, so important to the film in general, could believably age. The actors ranged in age from 6 days - the birth scene - to 92 - the old woman in the early scene when the Resistance drop failed I think.

Sounds like a great movie.