Nakam Image


By Alan Ng | November 20, 2022

The title of writer-director Andreas Kessler’s short film, Nakam, refers to the controversial group of fifty Holocaust survivors who sought to hunt down and execute members of the SS and its sympathizers during the latter half of World War II. Keller’s film tells the story of a young violinist who was recruited into their cause.

Musician Mitka (Anton Krymskiy) and his piano-playing mentor, Yegor (Jevgenij Sitochin), regularly perform in a small inn in Ukraine. One afternoon, the innkeeper is notified that a small group of important SS officials will gather at his establishment in the coming days for a steak dinner and fine music. Everything must be perfect.

“…devise a plan for Mitka to smuggle small homemade explosives into the inn before the event…”

After his set, Mitka secretly meets with his friend, Artem (Rostyslav Bome), who is a member of Nakam (Hebrew for “revenge”). The two devise a plan for Mitka to smuggle small homemade explosives into the inn before the event, and during dinner, he’ll find an excuse to leave and light the fuse. The problem is finding a way to get his friend Yegor to leave without raising suspicions.

Based on a true story, Nakam does a good job telling this small story of the fight against the Nazis on an indie budget. Time has shown that there are still numerous untold stories of the small battles and unlikely heroes that led to the downfall of Hitler and the Third Reich. Kellar is quite good at reminding us of the fear townsfolk lived in at that time. The terror felt when the Germans rolled into town is unimaginable. We get mere glimpses of their atrocities and blatant disregard for humanity.

But what Kellar does best is build upon Mitka’s motivations to do what he did, particularly for a small boy. We see the extreme lengths he went to out of revenge for his family. This point becomes salient with some moral quandaries he faced for the greater cause. As Mitka, Anton Krymskiy is fantastic and finds the right emotions at the proper times in this subtle thriller. Also, like a good thriller, Nakam builds a good amount of tension as Mitka’s covert activities are just seconds away from being exposed.

For screening information, visit the Nakam official website.

Nakam (2022)

Directed and Written: Andreas Kessler

Starring: Anton Krymskiy, Peter Miklusz, Jevgenij Sitochin, Rostyslav Bome, Irina Usova, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Nakam Image

"…builds a good amount of tension..."

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