Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he ... See full summary »
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Robert M. Young
Edward James Olmos,
John E. Coleman
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Robert M. Young
Edward James Olmos,
Fact based story about a former Greek Olympic boxer who was taken as a prisoner during World war II and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. There he was permitted to survive as long as he fought for the amusement of his captors. His father and brother were also held as insurance that he would continue to fight. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Shot on location at the actual Auschwitz death camp. This was first film production that was permitted to shoot at the actual camp. Some of the existing structures were utilized in the production, however, the camp's crematorium had to be recreated since the actual crematorium condition had greatly deteriorated over the years. See more »
The movie shows the end phase of life in Auschwitz and the forced death march as the camp is evacuated. Salamo Arouch is sent to work in the Sonderkomando in the crematorium where suddenly he witnesses the uprising and destruction of what is clearly crematorium II or III. In reality, the uprising occurred in October 1944, months before the evacuation. The SS dismantled the crematoriums over the preceding months and the forced death march evacuations occurred in late January. (In addition, the evacuation occurred in the middle of winter, the movie shows a nice sunny day, where in reality there would have been snow on the ground.) See more »
Listen, I'm only going to say this once. For those who can hear me tell the rest. First come the SS, our lord and masters. Then comes our block health manager, Kyr. Then come the assistants, Otto and me. Then come the rats. Then come the lice... and then come you.
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When Greece was invaded, its Jews were sent to Auschwitz. Among them was boxing champ Salamo(Dafoe, determined) and his family. When it is discovered that he can fight, he is put in the ring for the entertainment of the SS officers. This doesn't mean that they're safe, not even with him making a contact with a gypsy(Olmos) who is also granted a temporary "tolerance". Based on a true story.
This is among the most detailed, authentic and gripping pictures about its subject that I know of. The sheer volume of awful events, ways to be singled out and murdered and lies told by Nazis to avoid panic is impressive for being fit into the 1 hour 51 and a half minute running time. Production values are high. Acting is great for all concerned, with numerous subtle performances.
Going to great lengths to avoid being exploitative, this has few on-screen deaths, piles of dead and little naked skin. And yet, so much is communicated. Some recurring images convey far more than gore ever could. A reaction shot of conveys the horror inside the crematorium. And we know exactly what it means when we see the smoke from its chimney, or a train pulling in to, as my father solemnly put it as we watched it together, "the end of the line".
There is a lot of disturbing, and some bloody, content in this. I wholeheartedly recommend this to everyone old enough to handle the material. 7/10
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