Robert Davi, renowned for his multifaceted talents as an actor, singer, and filmmaker, takes on a powerful role in the upcoming film “Bardejov.” Set against the backdrop of World War II, this gripping drama sheds light on the harrowing experiences of a small Slovakian town grappling with the atrocities of the Holocaust. Davi’s portrayal of Rafuel Rudolf Lowy, the head of the Jewish council of Bardejov, anchors the narrative, offering a compelling perspective on courage, community, and resilience in the face of unspeakable horrors.
Beautifully Directed by Danny A. Abeckaser (“Inside Man”), “Bardejov” captures ordinary life disrupted by the encroaching Nazi regime, as the presence of the Hlinka Guards signals impending tragedy. Amidst this, Davi’s Lowy emerges as a beacon of hope, galvanizing the community to confront the looming threat with defiance and solidarity. The film is made even more breathtaking by the incredible cinematography of Barry Markowitz, who was Director of Photography for many of Rob Reiners, Billy Bob Thorton and Robert Duvall’s films
The narrative unfolds as Lowy and fellow town leaders confront the grim reality of the Nazi’s intentions. Faced with the imminent deportation of all the Jewish girls to an alleged shoe factory, they discover the insidious truth – that the girls are actually to be taken to Auschwitz. Determined to defy this fate, the community bands together to thwart the Nazi’s plans and safeguard their own.
In his performance as Lowy, Davi embodies the resilience and moral fortitude necessary to face overwhelming adversity. Drawing upon his extensive acting repertoire, which includes iconic roles in films like “Die Hard” and “The Goonies,” Davi infuses the character with gravitas and humanity. His portrayal resonates with audiences as a testament to the enduring strength of the human spirit.
“Bardejov” boasts a talented cast, with Abeckaser (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Kyle Stefanski (“Gotti”), Dean Miroshnikov (“Miklat”), Darren Weiss (“Inside Man”), and Omer Hazan (“The Engineer”) delivering compelling performances. Notably, the film benefits from the invaluable insights of Holocaust survivor Emil A. Fish, who lends his expertise as a producer. Fish’s firsthand account of the events of “Bardejov” gives authenticity to the storytelling, underscoring the historical significance of the events depicted.
Abeckaser’s directorial vision, coupled with a haunting score by composer Lionel Cohen, imbues “Bardejov” with a sense of urgency and emotional depth. The film transcends its historical setting to resonate with contemporary audiences, serving as a stark reminder of the enduring legacy of courage and sacrifice in the face of tyranny.
Reflecting on what he hopes audiences will take from the film, Davi emphasizes the themes of courage, hope, and the power of individual action to effect change, even in the darkest of times. He underscores the importance of remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust, particularly in a contemporary context where “Anti-Semitism seems to be on the rise.” Through “Bardejov,” Davi aims to shine a light on this chapter of history, urging audiences to confront the past and stand against hatred and intolerance in all its forms. “Cinema can entertain, or at its best, enlighten and educate. When you can touch the heart, it is what one hopes for, to take a journey that leads to an experience, that teaches us about the human condition and how we as humans react and respond under extraordinary circumstances.”
“Bardejov” offers a moving exploration of humanity’s capacity for resilience and compassion, promising to captivate audiences with its powerful storytelling and profound message of hope amidst darkness. “Bardejov”, starring Robert Davi, releases on VOD on March 19, 2024.