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>
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 »
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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The events depicted in the movie are well documented in historical accounts of the concentration camp experience, and according to these accounts they are not overstated in this film. Director Robert M. Young's background in making documentaries makes this docu-drama all that much more devastating. This is the holocaust, without frills, humor, or preaching. It is what it is. I wonder about other comments criticizing the film because it is too depressing. Gee, sorry if the holocaust ruined your evening. If you don't think you can take the raw experience, don't watch the film. Of course it is depressing, more than that. However, having watched it, I can say I can better understand and appreciate the creation of the state of Israel after the war. Mr. Young did an excellent job of film making on an extremely sensitive topic. Incidentally, he was co-writer on one of my all time favorite films, a 1964 low budget black and white gem, "Nothing But a Man." Also a sleeper which received extensive critical praise but not much exposure, I believe it to be hands down the best film depicting the black experience in America, particularly southern blacks in early 1960's at the apex of the civil rights movement. See my review on this site. Don't miss it.
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