No Place on Earth Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Chris Nicola
  • Director: Janet Tobias
  • Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: August 20, 2013
  • Run Time: 83 minutes



            Regardless of the decades that have passed since the horrific atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust in Europe, stories of inspirational survival continue to sprout up. I suppose this is a silver lining in the tragedy that befell so many families; that there were some who were able to persevere and survive. Entire family trees exist because of the bold decisions a few made in order to avoid entering the ghettos, not to mention the concentration camps.


            In October of 1942, Esther Stermer and her various immediate and distant family members were forced to enter caves outside of their city in order to avoid the Nazis. They were joined by many other families and eventually caught, but were able to escape before being sent away for good. They then found another cave which had never been discovered, and it had its own water supply to help decrease any need to leave shelter. The women and children lived in the cave for nearly a year and a half, which is the longest recorded uninterrupted underground survival period. The men would leave their hiding place only to seek out food, much of which needed to be stolen discretely.     


            The story is discovered by amateur cave explorer Chris Nicola comes across some of their belongings in the first cave and decides to investigate. Much of the film is told through interviews, however, and then the last section of the movie is dedicated to the survivors who are able to return and see the caves this many years later. One gentleman in his 90s brings his grand-daughter to see the caves that he survived in, making for a moving revelation about the generations of family members who are alive because of the bravely of those few.


            The Blu-ray release includes a bevy of spectacular bonus features, including the story of several of the families after the war ended, and features of Nicola cave exploring in the USA and in Slovakia. There is also an additional Holocaust story and more footage with interviews about additional topics, including more on the life in a cave. There are also photo galleries and a trailer for the film.


    Entertainment Value: 7/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10

    Historical Significance: 7/10

    Disc Features: 8/10



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