The Island on Bird Street

The credits play in front of German words meaning, “Jewish Quarter—No Trespassing”. A flashlight reveals this as a sign pushed past by stormtroopers.

The main points of congruity are Buñuel’s The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, which is especially cited in a drunken scene when the boy in the empty Warsaw Ghetto sees his father and uncle with him, and Polanski’s The Pianist, to which it is strikingly similar in some aspects by anticipation, and Rembrandt, who provides a shaft of light upon the rubble at the close.

The sweet ambiguity of the child’s viewpoint has some significance that has been lost upon reviewers. It is perhaps worth pointing out that the ending cites Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl”, very carefully prepared so as to leave the issue in question.