Hanna’s War (1988)


Hanna’s War is the true story of Hanna Senesh, a Hungarian-Jewish WW2 resistance fighter, who would become Israel’s “Joan of Arc”. As a young person, she fled Nazi-occupied Hungary for Palestine, where she was recruited and trained by the British to serve as a commando. After completing her training in Britain, she parachutes into Yugoslavia with a commando team to establish escape routes across the Hungarian-Yugoslavian border for downed British pilots. Her attempts to save Hungarian Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary, however, leads to her capture, torture and demise at the hands of the Gestapo and the Nazi-controlled Hungarian police.

Director: Menahem Golan.
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Maruschka Detmers, Anthony Andrews, Donald Pleasence, David Warner, Vincent Riotta, Christopher Fairbank, Robert Jacks, Serge El-Baz, Eli Gorenstein, Joe El Dror, Ingrid Pitt, Jon Rumney, Magda Faluhelyi, Emma Lewis.


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  1. Michael
    March 25, 2019

    Thanks Jon

  2. November 27, 2019

    This one may take some effort due to the quality and other reasons but it’s worth it. Currently it’s only available on VHS and rarefilmm.com. I didn’t care for the Flowplayer and downloaded it and used the VLC player instead. It’s based on the life of Hanna Szenes, an intelligent, talented Hungarian Jew who wants to be a writer like father who moves to Palestine before the outbreak of WWII leaving her family behind in Budapest. She was one of 37 Jewish recruits from Mandate Palestine parachuted by the British into Yugoslavia during the Second World War to assist anti-Nazi forces and ultimately in the rescue of Hungarian Jews about to be deported to the German death camp at Auschwitz. She is regarded as a national heroine in Israel, where her poetry is widely known. Unfortunately some parts of the score are almost unbearable. Disco synth music for a movie that takes place during WWII? The influence of Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire score raises its ugly head. Some scenes go on longer than necessary. The film runs 2.5 hours and I think thirty minutes could’ve been cut without losing anything significant. But Szenes was a hero and her story should be well known to all. How cowardly were those who collaborated with the Nazis. It seems that out of fear, man can be forced to do anything. May we all learn to have Hanna’s courage.

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