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Partisans of Vilna (1986)

This film tells the story of the men and women who formed the Jewish partisan movement in Vilna, Lithuania, during World War II.

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(as Josh Waletzky)

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(script development), (narration) (as Josh Waletzky) | 1 more credit »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Abba Kovner ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roberta Wallach ...
Narrator
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Storyline

This extraordinary film tells the story of the men and women who formed the Jewish partisan movement in Vilna, Lithuania, during World War II. Using rare archival film footage dating from 1939 to 1944 and contemporary interviews with 40 partisan survivors (including Abba Kovner, a founder of the partisan movement and one of Israel's leading poets) the film explores the difficulties of organizing under the anarchic conditions of the ghetto. Written by National Center for Jewish Film

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12 September 1986 (USA)  »

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Not your average Holocaust documentary
18 April 2000 | by (Coral Gables, Fl) – See all my reviews

Long before Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation started its series of excellent documentaries, and preceding other recent and memorable documentaries on the subject, PARTISANS OF VILLA was produced. Having been put together 15 years ago,with a good number of the survivors of the pre-World War II Lithuanian Jewish community still in good mental state, this documentary is not only more convincingly authentic through its varied interviews, it also explores unusual themes. Chief among the latter is making the point that Jews DID fight back. They created and joined "Partisan" commandos fighting the Nazis, in the forests of Lithuania and Poland. Their multi-faceted participation in these efforts is very well documented in this exceptional film. This is achieved both by visuals (actual footage, detailed maps), and excellent in-depth interviews from survivors. I certainly hope this gem won't be forgotten with the recent plethora of Holocaust documentaries. This one is a classic.


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