27 December 2007

Francis Cottam, Hamer’s War, 2003

Martin Hamer is a 1930s German soldier in need of a war. He gets one, of course, but it’s a far more personally destructive war than he expected, and any redemption he can gain from his misplaced loyalties comes with a high price: his disillusionment with the Third Reich is increasing, and when he falls for a female Polish labour camp inmate the mutual drive for survival is the instinct that prevails over the politics. These tensions are what gradually bring Hamer’s character into such excellent focus. Told as a series of vignettes that intersect and join like a jigsaw puzzle composed from the boundaries inward, Hamer’s War is told with a clarity that casts the right amount of light into a dark but convincing story. Recommended.   PY

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