Steal a Pencil for Me Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: It's 1943, and Holland is under Nazi occupation. At a birthday party in Amsterdam, Jack, an unassuming accountant, meets Ina, a 20-year-old beauty from a wealthy family who instantly steals his heart. But Jack's pursuit of love will be complicated; he is poor and married to Manja, a flirtatious and mercurial spouse. When the Jews are being deported, husband, wife, and lover find themselves at the same concentration camp, living in the same barracks. When Jack's wife objects to the "girlfriend" in spite of their unhappy marriage, Jack and Ina resort to writing secret love letters, which sustain them throughout the horrible circumstances of the war. Steal a Pencil for Me is a compelling documentary feature film by Academy Award nominee Michele Ohayon about the power of love and the ability of humankind to rise above unimaginable suffering. (Seventh Art Releasing) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Leba Hertz
    A terrific documentary about forbidden love in the most heinous of places.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Amazingly, many of Jack's and Ina's letters survived and -- read aloud by Dutch actors Jeroen Krabbe and Ellen Ten Damme -- serve as the thematic thread that runs through Ohayon's film.
  3. Gentle study in human resilience and luck.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    What makes Ms. Ohayon’s movie special is its recognition that epic horrors don’t erase private dramas.
  5. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    At once tender and tough-minded, Steal a Pencil for Me offers a useful corrective to the sentimental prevailing notion that the Shoah only happened to saints.
  6. 70
    Tells this most unusual love story with grace and compassion.
  7. Although their love is undeniably a blessing, I was disconcerted watching the elderly couple smile and chuckle today as they recall their daily letters and secret meetings in the midst of such wide-scale death.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

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