The Boy in the Woods – REVIEW

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Boy in the Woods - a boy trying to escape the Holocaust

Under the category ‘does what it says on the tin’, The Boy in the Woods is about the boy in the woods except here it’s a true story with a tragic background. It is April 1942 and Max (Jett Klyne) is a 12 year old Jewish boy already captured by the Nazis along with his mother and baby sister. The three of them are being grouped ready to transfer to a camp and it’s his mother who realizes that there is little hope for her and her baby but directs Max into giving the distracted soldiers the slip and escaping deep into the woods where he stays with a Polish family headed up by husband and father Jasko (Richard Armitage).

But his safety is short lived with Nazi’s on the hunt for Jews that are being hidden and its only by the thinnest slice of luck that Jasko convinces the commander that Max is his son. But it just becomes too much of a risk to his own family and children to continue hiding Max in plain sight and Jasko needs Max to leave showing him a hideout in the woods. Briefly showing him how to trap wildlife and warning him to steer clear of yellow mushrooms Max is left to fend for himself against the threat becoming another statistic of the Holocaust. Alone and frightened he finds Yanek (David Kohlsmith) another Jewish boy who has escaped and they form a brotherly alliance and the pair are further challenged when they save a baby and the thought of any of the surviving in the woods alone seems more and more unlikely

The Boy in the Woods is directed by Rebecca Snow who had made a documentary about the same story back in 2019 but nonetheless this dramatized version of the story is well played with Jett Klyne very good in a demanding role and the always reliable Richard Armitage as the father of Christian family in several troubling scenes that demonstrate just how brave the Polish people were ( and indeed still are) often to their own detriment and risk when the Nazis used extreme tactics against them in an effort to pressurize them into giving up any Jews they might be harbouring. The story is often poignant especially towards the end where documentary footage reveals what happened to Max and in the current tumultuous political climate in the Middle East it offers some hope.

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We chatted with Richard Armitage about the film and his role……

Here’s The Boy in the Woods trailer…..

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