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Interview: 'Walking With The Enemy' Filmmakers

April 25, 2014 3:41 a.m.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speak with San Diego-based filmmaker Mark Schmidt.

Related Story: Interview: San Diego-Based Liberty Studios Filmmakers

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

ANCHOR INTRO: This weekend audiences can show their support for a film produced by the San Diego based Liberty Studios. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando speaks with local filmmakers about “Walking with the Enemy.”

CLIP Hitler on radio

There is no shortage of World War II films set in Germany but director Mark Schimdt wanted to focus his attention on one set in Hungary.

CLIP The people of Hungary await word from their regent…

And on the true story Pinchas Tibor Rosenbaum, a rabbi’s son who disguised himself as an SS officer in order to save Jews. Schmidt says he felt the world needed more inspirational true stories like this.

MARK SCHMIDT: He puts his life on the line, he’s got no government, no army behind him, him and a few friends, it’s just an incredible story. He pretty much adapted to the environment that was there when the Germans came in and invaded Hungary. Our country, our relatives, didn’t have to experience all this terror that they went through. We’re lucky in this country to never experience anything like that.

Set in Hungary during the final months of World War II, the film does a fine job of depicting the period.

MARK SCHMIDT: We wanted everything as authentic and true to history and having people from the time see the film, they say we’re right on. People that were survivors in Budapest and from Hungary that have seen the film they feel everything is correct. We had them watch it while we were filming some scenes they said we were, everything is correct. It’s the way they experienced it.

The film also harkens back to the films of that time period, studio features that emphasized strong narratives, straightforward storytelling, and unassuming heroes. It’s a noteworthy debut for Schmidt and his Liberty Studios.

Beth Accomando, KPBS News.