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Thomas Harris

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Hannibal Rising

Title: Hannibal Rising
Directed by: Peter Webber
Written by: Thomas Harris
Year: 2007

I think that most people can agree on that the character of Hannibal Lecter is what makes the film The Silence of the Lambs worthwhile, but the question is if it really motivates a plethora of feature films centring on his character. After seeing Hannibal Rising, I am still not sure.

The intrigue is focused on young Hannibal in Lithuania during the Second World War. In 1944, when Hannibal is eight years old, a skirmish between Soviet and Nazi forces leaves him and his sister the only survivors, hidden a way in a forest lodge. The winter is extremely harsh, and when SS soldiers fiend the children, the nightmare begins.

A nice thing about this film is how the director manages to switch between present time and past time wit fluency and deftness of purpose. Even though it is obvious that Hannibal sister is indeed eaten by the soldiers, the moment is stretched out in time in order to allow the full horror of it to sink in.

The rest of the film is rather dull, though, since it mainly consists of Hannibal seeking and destroying the soldiers responsible for the terrible death of his sister. He might be interesting psychologically, but the second half of the film lacks ingenuity and originality. I cannot say that I recommend the film in general, but if you happen to be obsessed with Hannibal Lecter, you probably should give it a try.

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