THE PIN (Naomi Jaye). 85 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (June 27). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
This first-ever Canadian Yiddish feature - about two young adults trying to escape the Nazis - has a very strong mood and good performances by its leads.
When a shomer (David Fox) - the man who sits vigil for the dead in a Jewish funeral home - believes that his current charge is the same woman he hid out with decades ago, he has intense flashbacks about the experience.
During the war, Jacob (Grisha Pasternak) and Leah (Milda Gecaite) connect when they both escape to the same barn. The pair's terror that they'll be found is the film's main source of tension, but the sense that Leah is hiding a secret - Jacob's much more forthcoming than she about what brought them there - deepens the unease.
The pace is a tad slow - most of the action is dialogue-based in what is essentially a two-hander - but The Pin shows insight into what it takes to maintain your humanity under dire circumstances and how desperately survivors seek closure.
NOW's Norman Wilner conducts a Q&A after the June 27, 6:10 pm screening at Canada Square.