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>
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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Let us face it, holocaust surrounding second world war and the Nazi torture of Jews have become a thoroughly over-explored topic. Done to death, yes, but this movie came out in 1989! There was no Schindler's List, no Sorstalanság, no Boy in Striped Pyjama or Life is Beautiful... hell, even Europa Europa or the Last Butterfly released after this movie!
So, Triumph of the Spirit could easily have been a reference material for many a modern classic on holocaust. Even when seen as a standalone movie without the predecessors or successors, this is a good movie. The story is based on true incidents, hence it is quite interesting; historically - almost accurate and direction wise - at par with the best. Most of the characters had been explored richly and the cause- effect relationship behind every sub-plot is quite pronounced. The movie never borders on obscurity, yet ends it with a depth that is so often lacking in movies based on real life.
Performance wise Willem Dafoe and Robert Loggia stands out magnificently. Everyone else does their bit to perfection... no hiccups in acting. Sometimes, a bit of production value is missing that we are so used to these days. (Like in the air-raid scene towards the end, any typical Hollywood movie these days would have wonderful SFX showing allied aircrafts and what not... but here it was just the sound Foley and a bit of pyrotechnic... quite old school but very effective).
If you are a true movie buff and looking forward to relive the 80s style of movie production, go for it. You won't be disappointed.
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