Stolen Innocence is a drama set in 1945 in liberated Austria, exploring a young woman's journey from horror to disillusionment and purpose. As Hanna walks up the steps of her old apartment, it feels as if the intervening years have not taken place. Everything looks the same yet inside her lurks a powerful certainty that nothing will ever be the same again. She has lost everyone bar her father in Auschwitz. We enter her story as an angry 15 year trying to adjust. We witness her nightmares, her fights with everyone, as she tries to do normal things, like attend school. We watch as the fire and anger in herself responds to the whispers of chaos in others as inevitably she attracts the chance for revenge in the shape of a German teenager called Hans. In a shocking turn of events, as he is about to die, Hans accepts his fate as he apologises for the war. Stunned she stops realising that they are both victims and that it would do no good. Shortly after this, she finds 30 of her dead brother’s paintings hidden under some floorboards. Finally, Hanna and Hans together exhibit the paintings.
Taking the story of the mother and her 7 sons (2 Maccabees, chapter 7), where they’re arrested. On their refusal to eat pork as requested by the King, they are tortured and killed one by one as mother Hannah watches and finally she too is murdered. Yet they and she hold onto their faith in God and everlasting life. There are semblances of this brutality in Auschwitz and the film “Stolen Innocence” is set in post WW2 Austria What if the mother in this Bible story survived after the killing of her 7 sons, how would she keep going? Death seems like a blessed relief. In “Stolen Innocence”, our heroine Hanna embodies the mother but this time she survives, alone with her memories, her pain and her rage. How will she forgive and move on? How will she grieve for those she lost? How can she reconcile what she saw? In a triumph of the human spirit, Hanna doesn’t take an “eye for an eye” when fate offers her the chance to kill a German. Instead she takes one step forward as she jointly exhibits her dead brother’s paintings with Hans.
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