#929 Triumph of the Spirit (1989)

Based on a true story of a Greek olympic boxer surviving Auschwitz by taking part in boxing matches arranged by the nazi officers, Triumph of the Spirit tells another morbid view to the madness that took place during the german occupation.

If you have watched your fair share of WWII movies, you know what to expect here, and although some of the variables are different, the movie only a little new to the table to make it stand out of various similar movies. The biggest asset here is the setting. Shot on location in Auschwitz, Triumph of the Spirit absolutely manages to capture the grim and hopeless essence of the concentration camp during the gloomy and muddy winter months.

Triumph of the Spirit can’t hold up against the best of the genre, but anyone interested in the subject will likely find it an interesting watch.

80s-o-meter: 42%

Total: 71%

#691 The Sicilian (1987)

Italian movie teams and directors did a bunch of very good Hollywood imitations in the 80s, some of them even unrecognisable from their American counterparts. Michael Cimino’s The Sicilian aims to do very much the opposite and the end result actually looks and feels a lot like European cinema.

Based on a novel of the same name by Mario Puzo of the Godfather fame, The Sicilian takes place on the old continent telling the story of Salvatore Giuliano who was a bit of a Robin Hood figure of his time fighting for the independence of Sicily against the powers that be. Like the Godfather, this book has also gained a following, but the movie adaptation is generally seen as a failure.

I have to partly agree with the majority here. The movie is plagued with a sense of grandeur in every scene but never really delivers the said epicness. The directing style of Cimino is also demanding to follow: The movie never quite grasps you in a way you’d feel a part of the events taking place on the screen and as a viewer I found myself very indifferent about what happens to the characters next. Christopher Lambert shows the emotional scale and the acting chops of an android, and the old continent style of movie making without the freshness that the magic of Hollywood sometimes brings made the movie look and feel stale.

The Sicilian is not quite the epic failure it’s been dubbed as – but it does get much more things wrong than right.

80s-o-meter: 17%

Total: 38%