In World War II, the Jewish French musician and cabaret singer Fania Fenelon Goldstein is sent by the Nazis from Paris to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The guards take her clothing and luggage and they cut her hair very short. One day, when she is very weak, she hears someone asking whether any prisoner could sing Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly and she joins the group of musicians that have been spared from the gas chambers to entertain the Nazis performing music for them. She convinces the conductor Alma Rose to invite her friend Marianne, telling that she would be a talented singer. Along the years of abusive treatment, they survive but losing their dignity. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Despite controversy and attempted boycotts, the 3 hour film was the highest viewed program of the week, with 20.4million American homes watching its debut. See more »
When the group of women are getting off the train at Auschwitz, Several Camp officers, are wearing Wehrmacht Officers hats which are clearly visible by the Crests they have on them. The SS hats have the Deaths Head (Totenkopf) symbol. No Wehrmacht Officer has ever been to known to work in any labor or death camp. Most of the regular Wehrmacht (Army) claimed to have had no knowledge about the Death Camps. See more »
It is amazing to me that this film is pretty much unavailable in any format.
What a cast. Vanessa Redgrave. Jane Alexander. Marisa Berenson. Verna Bloom. Melanie Mayron. And a subtle and evocative script by none other than Arthur Miller.
A summary of it sounds unpleasant and harrowing and to a certain extent it is. But there is extraordinary beauty in this daring and unusual picture. A group of women, all musicians, are allowed by the Nazis to remain alive on the condition that they amuse their captors with music.
It simply must be seen, and will never be forgotten. See this picture any way you can. I am sure that in time it will be rediscovered and seen for the sublime utterance that it is.
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