World War II and many other wars are treasure troves of stories. War is inhuman yet human. All about humans. Driven by humans and full of their stories. This animated film, directed by the duo of Eric Warin (Alex et les Fantomes, Leap!) and Tahir Rana (directed episodes of Angry Birds: Summer Madness), is based on the true story of Charlotte Saloman (Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game, ATonement), a young painter who fled her homeland due to the rise of antisemitism in Germany.

An impressive cast is assembled here to bring the characters in the story alive. Besides Knightley in the lead role, there is Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose, Rust and Bones), Brenda Blethyn (Little Voice, Secrets & Lies), Jim Broadbent (The Iron Lady, Gangs of New York), Sam Clafin (Me Before You, Last Night in Soho), Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible, Clear and Present Danger), Helen McCrory (from television’s Peaky Blinders), Eddie Marsan (from television’s Ray Donovan), Mark Strong (1917, Zero Dark Thirty), and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda, The Secret Lives of Bees). Phew! That is a lot of talent.

Tragic yet beautiful, the story draws you in and illustrates the beginning of what would evolve to become the graphic novel. How art can help people get beyond the trauma they have experienced in their life. Beauty at a time of horror. The poetic nature of Charlotte Saloman’s art is recreated in the film in all its splendour. Though the story is challenging, it is so enveloped in incredible visuals that you won’t turn away. It dulls the inhumanity, violence and cruelty going on around Charlotte.

As an artist, Charlotte oozes talent and as a human, she is truly inspirational. A lesson is there to be absorbed of how there is the possibility to persevere even in the darkest of times. Even when you know that you will probably fall victim to it, you can still fully live in the moment.

Charlotte is available now on Apple TV/iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

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