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Train of Life

A Feature film by Radu Mihaileanu

Produced by Raphaël Films, Noé Productions Int.

Release in France : 16/09/1998

    Synopsis

    One evening in 1941, the dwellers of a shtetl (Jewish village) in Eastern Europe see Schlomo the Idiot arrive with appalling news: the Germans are massacring the inhabitants of the nearby shtetls and deporting the survivors to an unknown destination. Soon the same fate will be theirs. That night, the village elders meet to discuss how to save their community. In the small hours of the morning, the answer comes from the mouth of Schlomo himself: to escape from the Nazis, they’ll run a fake deportation train! By playing the role of deportees, train engineers and Germans all at once, they will get through the German checkpoints and reach the Promised Land.

    Actors (9)

    Production and distribution (5)

    Executive Producers :

    Raphaël Films, Noé Productions Int.

    Foreign production companies :

    Hungry Eye Pictures, 7ïA

    French distribution :

    AB International Distribution

    Co-production :

    STUDIOCANAL

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    AB International Distribution, Orange Studio

    Box Office: Total results

    Box office: Timeline

    International releases (34)

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    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country

    About

    I happened to be in Los Angeles when Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List’ came out. Seeing it, I felt two reactions: great emotion, and a strong conviction that the story of the Shoah couldn’t always go on being told in the same way, in the register of tears and horror. Back home in Paris, a historian friend got to talking over dinner about some Jews who escaped on a train during the war, an almost incredible story. He urged me to make a film about it, a somber story about my roots and people. ‘A comedy!’ I answered. He was taken aback. But I felt that the combination of comic and tragic would have an extraordinary effect. I had a hunch that this was the way I had to go. (Radu Mihaileanu)

    Photos (2)

    Full credits (12)

    Executive Producers :

    Frédérique Dumas, Ludi Boeken, Marc Baschet, Cedomir Kolar, Éric Dussart

    Directors of Photography :

    Yorgos Arvanitis, Laurent Dailland

    Production Manager :

    Thierry Bettas-Bégalin

    Editor :

    Monique Rysselinck

    Music Composer :

    Goran Bregovic

    Sound Mixer :

    Dominique Dalmasso

    Screenwriter :

    Radu Mihaileanu

    Sound Recordist :

    Pierre Excoffier

    Press Attachés (film) :

    Dominique Segall, Astrid Gavard

    Production Designer :

    Cristiana Niculescu

    Costume designer :

    Viorica Petrovici

    Still Photographers :

    Vincent Lebrun, Cornel Lazia

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :

    Fiction

    Production language :

    French

    Coproducer countries :

    France, The Netherlands, Belgium

    Original French-language productions :

    Yes

    Nationality :

    Majority French (France, The Netherlands, Belgium)

    Production year :

    1998

    French release :

    16/09/1998

    Runtime :

    1 h 43 min

    Current status :

    Released

    Visa number :

    88.700

    Visa issue date :

    17/07/1998

    Approval :

    Yes

    Production formats :

    35mm

    Color type :

    Color

    Aspect ratio :

    CinemaScope

    Posters (1)

    Director

    Festival Selections (8)

    Istanbul Film Festival - 1999

    Istanbul Film Festival (Turkey , 1999)

    Selection

    FROM THE WORLD OF FESTIVALS

    Melbourne French Film Festival - 1999

    Melbourne French Film Festival (Australia, 1999)

    Selection

    Films selected

    Sydney French Film Festival - 1999

    Sydney French Film Festival (Australia, 1999)

    Selection

    Films selected

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 1999

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 1999)

    Selection (2)

    Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted) : Radu Mihaileanu

    Most Promising Actor : Lionel Abelanski

    Acapulco French Film Festival - 1998

    Acapulco French Film Festival (Mexico, 1998)

    Selection

    French Feature Films

    Venice International Film Festival  - 1998

    Venice International Film Festival (Italy, 1998)

    Selection

    Perspective Section