Charlotte Trailer: Keira Knightly Makes Art And Comes Of Age As A Jewish Woman At The Onset Of World War II

In "Charlotte," the new animated film from directors Eric Warin and Tahir Rana, Keira Knightly voices a Jewish painter coming of age in Germany as World War II breaks out. This is no family movie, but rather one that tackles history and the Holocaust head-on. 

Charlotte" premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2021. Since then, among other things, we've seen a Tennessee school board vote unanimously to remove Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel, "Maus" — based on his father's real-life experiences as a Holocaust survivor — from its eighth-grade curriculum. We've also seen Russia invade Ukraine under the pretense of "denazifying" it.

Real-world events like this only make "Charlotte" feel that much more grave and relevant. The movie hails from Good Deed Entertainment, the studio behind "Loving Vincent," which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature in 2018. It's written by Erik Rutherford and David Bezmozgis and features a number of Oscar nominees in voice roles, including Knightley, Brenda Bleythyn, Jim Broadbent, and Sophie Okonedo. Also lending their voices are Mark Strong, Sam Claflin, Eddie Marsan, and the late Helen McCrory in her final movie performance.

Check out the trailer for "Charlotte" (via Collider) below.

Watch the Charlotte trailer

"Do you paint happy moments or just the sad ones?"

The trailer for "Charlotte" makes an immediate impression, as one of the first images we see is Charlotte walking down a street where Nazi banners hang overhead. She answers the opening question by saying the sad moments "always feel more true," and then we see how she's living under the specter of swastikas. It makes a swift statement about what kind of film this is going to be in terms of its subject matter.

With history being rewritten in real-time now and a whole generation coming of age amid a pandemic, political radicalization and Holocaust denialism, and the outbreak of war, "Charlotte" might strike a nerve.

Here's the official synopsis for "Charlotte" from Good Deed Entertainment:

CHARLOTTE is an animated drama that tells the true story of Charlotte Salomon, a young German-Jewish painter who comes of age in Berlin on the eve of the Second World War. Fiercely imaginative and deeply gifted, she dreams of becoming an artist. Her first love applauds her talent, which emboldens her resolve. But the world around her is changing quickly and dangerously, limiting her options and derailing her dream. When anti-Semitic policies inspire violent mobs, she leaves Berlin for the safety of the South of France. There she begins to paint again, and finds new love. But her work is interrupted, this time by a family tragedy that reveals an even darker secret. Believing that only the extraordinary will save her, she embarks on the monumental adventure of painting her life story.

"Charlotte" is in select U.S. theaters on April 22, 2022.