BROKEN PROMISE

NEDODRZANY SLUB

By Jiri CHLUMSKY

ASPECT FILM - as SALES All rights, World

Epic - Completed 2009

The film is based on a true story of Martin Friedmann, a Jewish boy born in 1926, in Western Slovakia. Martin escaped deportation to a concentration camp, thanks to his extraordinary soccer talent and some coincidentally favorable circumstances…

    • Year of production
    • 2009
    • Genres
    • Epic, Historical, Drama
    • Countries
    • SLOVAKIA
    • Languages
    • SLOVAKIAN
    • Duration
    • 129 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Jiri CHLUMSKY
    • Writer(s)
    • Jan NOVAK
    • Producer(s)
    • Iveta CERNA (Genta Film), Vlado CERNY (Genta Film)
    • Synopsis
    • “Broken Promise” is an atypical wartime story of Martin Friedmann-Petrasek, a Jew from a small Slovak town. One in a family of nine children, Martin was a talented soccer player; scouted by the nationally-ranked teams in the idyllic pre-war era.
      The family’s life began to change around the time of Martin’s bar mitzva, when the new Slovak state had just become an ally of Hitler’s Germany and Mr. Friedmann makes his family promise that they will all meet again in a year’s time. It’s a promise that could not be kept. Soon the family is forced to wear the yellow Star of David, that clearly marked them out as Jews – and Martin is expelled from the town’s soccer team. When the Friedmanns have a chance to emigrate to the Palestine, Mr. Friedmann refuses to take a chance on an overloaded ship and an uncertain future in the desert...
      It’s a decision he quickly comes to regret – the transports East are starting and Martin’s siblings have to board a freight train to Poland. Martin, struck by the helplessness of his parents, decides to take control of his own life by joining an old soccer buddy of his in the Sered Camp for the Jews. Getting off the train in Sered, Martin quickly realizes that he’d made a mistake. He is trapped, however, and put to work in a carpentry shop. Slowly starving to death, he is forced to play in the brutal soccer games against the guards. He survives the last selection for Auswitz by being rescued by the German soccer fan who just happens to run the camp...
      When his older brother, Vilo, who had been drafted into the Slovak army, shows up in the Sered Camp, Martin comes down with a double pneumonia and Vilo comes to the lager hospital to say good-bye to him: “Go in peace, brother, this is our fate,” he tells Martin, but miraculously, Martin recovers and his escape from the grim reaper makes for such an inspiring story that the director of the camp sends him to a sanatorium to recover...
      Martin ends up among tuberculousis patients in the High Tatras, hiding his Jewish identity, fearing being exposed by his circumcision. However, one day the medical staff determines that he really isn’t tubercular, and Martin has to take the fate in his hands again...
      He ends up working in a monastery and ultimately, under the new name of Martin Petrasek, as a “partisan” during the Slovak Uprising. He survives the last winter of the war in the mountains in a band of Soviet-led guerilas...
      At the end of the war, Martin is reunited with Vilo. He also returns home, but another family has been living in their house for the past four years and he has a hard time even convincing them to let him rummage around the family’s old attic. But when he does, he finds a box with family pictures and an old yellow star – it’s time to move on to Israel...
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