THE PLOT THUS FAR
This gripping story of the crucial work done by the people of Assisi to rescue hundreds of Italian Jews from Nazi execution during their occupation of Italy in 1943.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
The Assisi Underground tells of the perils and ultimate triumph of the network of saving Italian Jews from the SS that ran between Florence and Rome for several years. Under the guidance of Assisi’s good bishop Nicolini, Franciscan friar Rufino Nicacci risked his life to hide hundreds of Italy’s Jews in monasteries, friaries and convents throughout Umbria. The most famous was the operation in St. Francis’ holy and peaceful city of Assisi, which was occupied by the Nazi’s until being declared an open city later in the war. For his efforts, Padre Rufino was awarded the honorific title of “Righteous Gentile” – the highest honor that can be bestowed on a Gentile, by the State of Israel after the war.
Slow at times, this film integrates real WWII film and newspaper clippings to keep time with the events of WWII. Ben Cross’s performance speaks multitudes of the anxiety and anticipation of the Third Reich’s actions during its occupation of Italy. History enthusiasts should find it intriguing. Although not filled with hi-tech footages and action packed scenarios, The Assissi Underground is based on a small group of Catholic monastaries and convents in Italy that forms an underground railroad that only rivals Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad of the 19th Century.