TWO LIVES involves a woman who spied for the East German secret police (the Stassi), while TWICE BORN tracks the history of a single child, born from the rubble and disgust of one of our more horrific modern genocides, the Serbo-Croatian war -- but both movies force us to confront terrible situations and work our way through them.
Sergio Castellitto.(Don't Move, Love & Slaps) Adapted by Castellitto and his wife Margaret Mazzantini, from her original novel, the film stars Penelope Cruz (below, left) and a mis-cast Emile Hirsch (below, right) as lovers unable to conceive a child who also become involved in the war in the former Yugoslavia, where they are part of the "arts" community that refuses to believe that said war will ever happen. Castellitto's movie moves back in forth in time and place, from Italy to America to Yugoslavia.
Pietro Castellitto, below) comes to the fore.
Georg Maas and Judith Kaulmann, who also had their hands in the screenplay,
Juliane Köhler (near left), has quite the checkered history, yet she's proven herself a decent wife and mother, and so we root for her to somehow transcend the past. But the more we slowly learn of that past, the more difficult this transcendence seems. How all this plays out is suspenseful, unsettling and very real.
In the excellent cast are Sven Nordin (far left) as the uncomprehending husband, and Liv Ullman (below, second from left) as a very badly-used mother. What comes through most strongly in this film is how we must finally pay for the past, one way or another.