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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With World War 2 looming, a prominent family in China must confront the contrasting ideas of traditionalism, communism and Western thinking, while dealing with the most important ideal of all: love and its meaning in society.
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>
Director Robert M. Young was initially hesitant to take on this project when given the original script. He felt that the subject was too voluminous to be incorporated into one movie. He later agreed when presented with a revised script that focused only on one small element in the death camp, or in Young's own words "like a cork, bubbling on the surface of the sea." See more »
In the movie, Salamo Arouch was depicted as having married "Allegra" shortly before being sent to Auschwitz. In reality, Arouch met her for the first time after they had both been liberated from Auschwitz in 1945 and were subsequently married. Furthermore, "Allegra" was a name used by the writers for artistic reasons, his wife's real name was Marta Yechiel. 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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Triumph of the Spirit is a film about people who have made choices in one of the most horrific situations--the Auschwitz death camp. Think of all the choices made by Salamo Arousch and those nearest to him. His sister Julie chooses to stay with her little girl rather than give the child over to her mother and thus get picked for the labour camp (somewhat curious that the SS officer doing the selection gave Julie the option of living). Avram refuses to join the Sonderkommando and is killed by the Nazis. Salamo chooses to box to keep his father alive a little while longer. Allegra chooses to believe her sister Helena who has chosen to make up a story about pregnancy. Jocko Levy has chosen to become a Kapo only to be tossed out by the Nazis when he is no longer healthy.
It was the magnitude of the choices that stunned me when I saw the film when it came out. The film presents us with an unrelenting series of situations and choices to be made. How would any of us have behaved if we had been in the same situation?
Triumph of the Spirit made me squirm because it showed me just how complex the Holocaust experience was for individuals who had to make life and death decisions. This is what lifts Triumph of the Spirit way above most other Holocaust films.
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