Resistance: New trailer turns Jesse Eisenberg into an unlikely war hero

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IFC Films has revealed a new trailer for Resistance. This is the latest from writer/director Jonathan Jakubowicz and stars Jesse Eisenberg in the lead role. While Eisenberg is known for his roles in bigger movies like Zombieland and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he’s always enjoyed doing low-profile indies as well, but they often have something of a unique hook. In this case, he’s portraying an aspiring actor who goes on to become a famous mime, who also happens to be a war hero. The craziest part is that this all based on a true story.

The trailer kicks off with a look at Jesse Eisenberg roaming through the streets during World War II, making a daring attack on some unsuspecting Nazi soldiers. The whole thing plays out with a rousing speech from Ed Harris in the background. We then see how this aspiring performer becomes a part of a resistance movement that ends up being tasked with saving more than 100 children. Things get dicey, dramatic and dangerous. It looks both like a familiar story, while also taking a slightly different angle on well-trodden ground.

Aside from Jesse Eisenberg, the cast also includes Ed Harris (Apollo 13, Westworld), Edgar Ramirez (Deliver Us From Evil, American Crime Story)), Clemence Poesy (In Bruges, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) and Matthias Schweighofer (100 Things, You Are Wanted). Jonathan Jakubowicz previously directed the boxing movie Hands of Stone, as well as the TV series Fugitives.

Resistance centres on Marcel Marceau long before he became a world-renowned mime. The movie picks up with him as Marcel Mangel, an aspiring Jewish actor who joins the French Resistance to save the lives of thousands of children who were made orphans by the Nazis. Marcel is a young man growing up in Nazi-occupied Europe and has no intention of getting involved in the war.

Rather, he prefers impersonating Charlie Chaplin in burlesque clubs, painting backdrops for his plays, and antagonizing his father. His life is thrown for a loop when he is recruited to join the French group of resistance fighters. Putting his acting skills to the ultimate test, he must teach orphaned Jewish children how to survive in the terrifying reality of the Holocaust.

It’s fascinating that, after all these years, compelling tales from WWII are still coming to light in cinematic form. The idea that a well-known performer helped save hundreds of lives by using his unique skill set as a performer sounds quite remarkable.

The movie is produced by Claudine Jakubowicz, Dan Maag, Thorsten Schumacher, Carlos Garcia de Paredes, Patrick Zorer and Jonathan Jakubowicz. Jesse Eisenberg was most recently seen in last year’s Zombieland: Double Tap, as well as the dark indie comedy The Art of Self-Defense. He’s also starring in Vivarium, which arrives next month. Resistance is set to be released on March 27 from IFC Films.

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