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Parents' Guide to

Where Hands Touch

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Brutal violence, death, history in agonizing Holocaust tale.

Movie PG-13 2018 122 minutes
Where Hands Touch Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 16+

Touching Movie storyline and great acting. I always had to pause the movie to react because wow it was a great movie.Very educational and a glimpse into the past.

age 13+

Wasn't what I was expecting

At first I didn't want to watch it because of the controversy, but it was actually a very good movie and it pictures what it was like for a black girl in Germany at the time on WWII (aside from falling in love with a nazi).

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (8 ):

Illuminating a lesser-known segment of Holocaust history, this film powerfully illustrates the suffering that black and mixed-race Germans endured during WWII under the Third Reich. Where Hands Touch is gripping, emotional, and beautifully told -- and it's also very difficult to watch, with few moments of relief and lightness amid the anguish. From the film's very first moment, in which Cornish's fierce German mother stands off a terrifying bunch of Nazi soldiers as her daughter hides beneath the floorboards, we understand viscerally the terrible danger that Leyna and her family are in. Some of the people the Nazis hunted were able to ride out the Holocaust by pretending to be Aryan -- but every inch of Leyna's skin reveals her heritage and makes her a target, evidenced in scenes of unflinching cruelty.

Leyna is able to take it when her teacher makes her stand up and explain why a girl with her African features came to have a "good" German last name -- or when soldiers on the street force her to produce the (faked) papers affirming that she's been sterilized and thus can't produce any "mischlings" ("mixed-race" children, in Nazi parlance). But as Leyna's life steadily turns from harrowing to excruciating, so does the film become almost unendurable, if compellingly told. One scene, in which Leyna sits in flurries of what she thinks is snow but is revealed as the drifting airborne ashes of prisoners incinerated in a concentration camp, will give viewers permanent chills. In some ways, this movie is a love story, with Leyna and Lutz managing to eke out a few happy moments in their dismal circumstances. But viewers who hope for a happy ending against all odds don't know their history well enough. The film does end on a moment of hope, but it can't obscure the misery that comes before it. History books rarely make you cry multiple times over the course of a couple of hours -- Where Hands Touch will.

Movie Details

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