Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Gill-man, Feb 11, 2018.
What are your favorite films about the Holocaust and which films do you feel are the best?
Night and Fog
Everything Is Illuminated, and The Boy In The Striped Pajamas stuck a chord with me recently, but honestly, I've seen so many, including literally dozens of non-U.S. films I'll never remember the names of. That's the thing about "adopting" your local indie/foreign/arts movieplex and seeing most of the films there...you're gonna see the holocaust from so many angles and so many languages, so many plots, so many memorable (and unmemorable) characters, it's likely you may see so many deaths, it is like living through 3 or 4 holocausts worth of tragedies. Frankly, there wasn't one of these I "wanted" to see; some from a sense of support for the theater, some out of a sense of "duty" when Jewish friends planned to see a few, and of ourse we have an annual local Jewish Film Festival (sometimes Israel-based features in French - betcha didn't know that was a "thing", eh?), and every other year it seems there's one nominated for Best Picture Oscar. I've seen the ones about Nazi art theft, courageous locals living under the thumb of the Reich, The Reader, The Pianist, The Zookeeper (which actually alerted my chiropractor that he may be a descendant of a war hero), Denial, a few about the Mossad, "big" hollywood pictures like The Odessa File and Marathon Man, that Hitler movie everybody uses to re-translate his rant that's become an internet meme...just goes on and on.
Several good films have plots which involve the Holocaust; Sophie's Choice and Life is Beautiful are a couple of the better ones. There are likewise any number of lousy films that use the Holocaust, because if you're looking for a nasty villian, you can't do better than a genocidal Nazi.
From a documentary standpoint, The Sorrow and the Pity is very moving, and despite its somewhat clumsy structure, the Netflix production Night Will Fall uses actual footage of the camps--unforgettably horrific.
Night Will Fall - Wikipedia
Even more important than Night Will Fall is the film that it’s based on: German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, which was finally released on home video last year, by the BFI.
The importance of German Concentration Camps Factual Survey
You can just look at the uncut military and newsreel footage, but it can can get rather numbing after a while.
Alain Resnais' "Night and Fog", in 32 minutes or so, by its very restraint, drives home both the horror and the natural urge by Man to ask: "How?" and "Why?"
The quiet, almost poetic narration, the score...and your imagination.
"Sophie's Choice" - still brutal:
Sophie's Choice [Blu-Ray] (1982)
That one is a very tough watch..
Judgement At Nuremberg.
Son of Saul. If you haven't seen it, you should. It starts with no explanation or introduction, just unsuspecting people being herded into a gas chamber by Jewish Sonderkommados, over seen by the Nazis. It's a desperate story.
The Pawnbroker, with Rod Steiger is another one that's very good.
he miniseries holocaust from the 70's is actually good and holds up well and has a young meryl streep
They're ALL tough to watch if you're thinking about the facts behind the movies
Sorrow and the pity
Europa, Europa -- this is a terrific independent film, which is based on the true story of Solomon Perel, who as a youth disguises his Jewish identity, and in one harrowing part, even becomes as member of Hitler's youth. Basic production values, but it is well done and the story drives your interest.
I own the DVD: https://smile.amazon.com/Europa-Mar...&qid=1518394508&sr=8-1&keywords=europa+europa
It received a 100% rating on RT (only sixteen positive reviews, and no negatives): Europa Europa
I watched The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler on Netflix. I highly recommend it. It did a good job explaining just how when the political and economic conditions are right it would allow for somebody like him to actually come into power and end up doing the terrible things he did.
the garden of the finzi-continis
Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)
Slightly off topic but follow the general theme, are there any good Holodomor movies out there?
An appropriate holocaust based film for more modern times.
I favour this one.
The entire topic is overwhelming, so emotionally impossible to process entirely, the two I find most affecting walk up to the beginning of the atrocities and leave you to realize the tragedy about to happen.
Cabaret and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis.
My third choice is more subversive. In the theater, I laughed and laughed with Life is Beautiful and then bawled during the end credits. Again, the love and life so starkly contrasted with the horror is what made it all the more painful
None they make me see how evil human being can be and this gets me low and puts in in a very bad mood. But we should not forget it so we don't repeat sucu a thing ever again.
I'm not jewish by the way.
Not necessarily a Holocaust film, with regards to the specific genocidal Nazi atrocities to the Jewish, "Come and See" is a very disturbing war film on the atrocities on the Belarus population during the German invasion of Russia. The following review pretty much sums up the film, if you haven't seen it.
Amen (2002) directed by Costa Gavras the holocaust from other perspectives, based on the story of Kurt Gerstein and the Gerstein Report.
Kurt Gerstein - Wikipedia
The development and use of Zyklon B as a water purifier, used also to gas 70,000 children, a mass murder (1939/41 Action T4 edict) through involuntary euthanasia,
The SS officers involved, transferred this method to the death camps in 1943
Possibly the film took on so many other important aspects around the holocaust that it couldn't possibly fit it all into a 130 min film.
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