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Reviews & Ratings for
Haven (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful and TRUE story how one person can change the world

Author: nfiertel from Canada
29 April 2004

I find that Haven is extremely engrossing, inspiring enough for me to invite a number of people to watch its four hour length and to wake up thinking about it months after seeing it for the first time. It is not mawkish. It is about a harsh reality and it is about history and it is also about telling us about society in the time of WWII. It might not be comfortable for some of us to accept the reality of rejection, of discrimination, of the Holocaust and of the genuine responsibility of governments of the world who looked away from Nazism and its genocidal

maniacs. The anti-American slant of at least one of the reviews smacks of a

parochial nationalism that hides the historical truth that Canada ALSO was

guilty of looking away from victims of the Holocaust. Had the U.S. president Roosevelt lifted one political finger things could have been a lot better for them. Hitler took advantage of the fact that no one would take Jews into their borders before and during the war to carry out his demoniacal plans and no one with

political power tried to stop it It nor did the Allies even bother to bomb the gas chambers nor the railroads going to the concentration camps. It took the

courage and moral fibre of the little man from Missouri, Harry S. Truman , and little people like Ruth Gruber to make their mark. This film makes this

abundantly clear. This might not be a popular position but I can assure the

readers, that in my experience, he and she are held in the highest regard and FDR is now considered a moral failure amongst survivors. The film points this out along with many allusions to the prejudice of the State Department against even these poor victims of the Holocaust. If facts and well acted theatre can interact then this film does it all.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

an excellent eye opener

Author: nodoubt2221
10 July 2006

i always knew that America carried anti-semitic views, but i never knew that it was very strong within our own government that Jewish refugees were not even allowed to marry. it's hard to say that this movie was syrupy or overdone considering it was based on a true story. funny how it worked it out well for Hollywood, it's a shame it wasn't taken to the big theaters and was just a TV movie. nonetheless, it was an excellent film that revealed the war at home, the fight for refugees, and America's own hidden agenda. everyone knows now that many nations knew about Hitler's plans and ignored it, but this movie shows how much more we hid. i hope that everyone gets to see this movie for not only was the plot great, but that acting was well done. all the actors contributed very well. it surprised me much that i never heard about refugee camps during WWII, not even in my history class.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

book is much better, and actors miscast

Author: della_robbia from United States
18 November 2005

This movie is based on the book of the same name of a woman who worked for the Secretary of the Interior (Ickies) who claimed in the book "to not have met a Jew until he was 16" which could have added to the alienation felt by the nearly 1000 Jews and Christians brought to Oswego, New York in 1944. This movie appears like a soap box from which a very non -Jewish looking Richardson hears the evils of the Nazis during WWII screams at the past, not to real people in the State Department (who definitely knew the Nazis were up to something in the late 1930s/early 1940s). However the point of the book was to not show hate against many of the Americans in the story. The people of Oswego, New York in this movie are shown as communist and disease fearing people who are acting like, "why did this happen to us?". However, in the book they met with their new neighbors as best they could: throwing food/clothes over the fence which separated the two peoples. Many dramatic opportunities were passed up in the story, including the variety show, in which the refugees gave a show for the soldiers on the boat they shared passage.

Could have been much better, if they had stuck to what had happened and read the book about the real Ruth Gruber a truly amazing woman who is not done justice here.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A touching story

Author: Aschley Martel ( from Ontario Canada
11 February 2001

This story was just amazing. It touches you and helps you realize things about the War that would have never thought. How people suffered and how one woman wanted to help them. Natasha Richardson and Tamara Gorski are woman who I have seen in movies before and loved. They both did an awesome job in this movie as did everyone else. If you get the chance, take a look. I thought at first this would be a boring story I would have no intrest in. I was wrong. It's amazing.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

spin of history

Author: hifrom-jmh from United States
20 June 2010

I was looking forward to seeing this movie when I found it on DVD. I am from Oswego, NY. Growing up in the 1970's the buildings that house the refuges still stood, and I heard stories from my grandmother (who was thirtysomthing during WWII) and my mom and her older siblings (who where in Jr. and Sr. high during WWII) how the immigrants were embraced by the town. Oswego is proud of this role of history and has turned fort Ontario and the other surrounding buildings into museums so that the world will not forget. This movie makes Oswego look very closed minded. Oswego is a university town that is very forward thinking. This movie is based on history however, I feel it is manipulated to to show the worse of the townspeople. Also the accent of the local people is not correct. the Oswego accent almost sounds Canadian, it is only 34 miles from Canada across the lake. One point of note, the snow depicted is accurate! I read the book it did a much better job telling the story without the spin.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

very sad true story

Author: HOPE from United States
17 September 2009

I had the pleasure of meeting Ruth Gruber,little had I known at the time of what all this woman had accomplished,the lives she saved,the dangers she had put herself thru...I would have surly felt small as an ant had I known that day what all this great woman had done.I would have broken down,cried in her lap.thanked her for her courage.I enjoyed the movie,and now own and treasure the book signed by her.I am shocked at how some people will say the Holocaust never happened,they are truly out of touch with reality.The awful things that were done tears at my heart,I cry every time I watch a movie or documentary about it.It was awful and I think in our times now...many are afraid that this is where our own nation may be heading for.But that will never happen here.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Twists history to make Americans look anti-Semitic in WWII

Author: sigel-2 from United States
23 May 2008

You should also read the book. This was a movie based on a book and not a documentary. There is such an anti-American slant to this movie that it makes this more propaganda, as others above have said. It seems to portray both the American people and the American government as almost as anti-Semitic as Nazi Germany was. That is overly simplistic. While the State Department was very unfriendly to the Jews, Interior was not. While the US government was not particularly welcoming, the American people were. Mrs. Gruber, who didn't have a German boyfriend in the book, said that the events in this movie didn't happen that way. The refugees were selected by diversity, not age or pregnancy status. In fact, one child was born on the truck on the way to the ship. The no fraternizing command on the ship was just temporary, to avoid trouble. The variety show they put on for the troops was not in the movie. They didn't rush the mess hall but the quantity of food was so enormous, they didn't understand until they were told that was the way they feed the Army. During the submarine scene, no one freaked out and no babies were born. There was no trouble between the troops and refugees and there was no Seig Heil scene. This movie IS an insult to the people of Oswego who welcomed these refugees with open arms. When they arrived by train, it was 7:30 AM and they were greeted with milk and cookies handed to them on the train. Thus the Treblinka-like spot-lights were not there, although there was a fence. These were not barracks but apartments the Army built for them. They were not all Jews and they had Christian services at the post chapel and they built a small synagogue. They had boy scouts, girls scouts, a wedding, celebrated Christmas, had a bris (ritual circumcism), and had a bar mitzvah. Although the anti-Semitism of the State Dept is legendary, just as it was true that more German POWs were brought here than refugees, it is also true that Eleanor Roosevelt and Elinor Morganthau visited the camp and Mrs. Roosevelt was responsible for their being able to get an education. Why Roosevelt did so little has inspired books on the subject. Perhaps it was his just punishment not to be able to live to see the end of the war. But he appointed people with sensitivity to prejudice, including Harold Ickes, who had been the chairman of the Chicago branch of the NAACP, to high government positions and kept the country united. No president either before or after has been able to do that. But back to the movie, mention should have been made of the enormous contributions to America in science, the arts and medicine by these refugees. One final dig at the State Dept - State remained intransigent to the very end, not allowing the refugees to apply for citizenship in America. Mrs. Gruber did not have to convince President Truman nor did she meet with him. It was Gruber's and Ickes letters to the media that changed government policy. It took months to get around this, but they eventually found a solution to our arcane immigration rules by putting the refugees on a bus and crossing the Rainbow Bridge into Canada, and then they were immediately allowed back into America permanently. Seventy communities across the country then offered to resettle them. Does this sound like all of America was anti-Semitic? I think not. Fort Ontario in Oswego is now a museum. If you enjoyed this movie at all, and I did, you should do yourself a favor and read the book, which is readily and inexpensively available at

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6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Great portrayal of courage which was ruined by cliches.

Author: dewey22 from Lahaina, Hawaii
27 February 2001

This is the story of a woman of great courage and compassion. The acting was excellent. I, however, felt clubbed to death by every anti-Jewish cliche known. I lived in the mid-west during the time of this movie's setting and had several Jewish friends. I rarely ever saw the unkind responses shown in this movie. In fact the only times that I ever heard negative comments about Jews were in a few adults who were prejudiced about equally between all the groups different than their own. In this regard, the movie is little different than many "black" movies that go to extremes to show victimizing of their class.

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6 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing is putting it mildly

Author: abitaquest2 from Welsh, La., USA
15 August 2006

This isn't a movie; it's propaganda. It uses natural empathy with the plight of the Jewish refugees as a tool to stir anti-American feelings. Seriously -- was it necessary to make nearly ALL of the Americans into unfeeling racists who were only marginally better than the Nazis?

Every group appearing in this movie has a right to feel maltreated ... by the filmmakers.

The leading lady is a farce, as well. More thought could and should have been given to her wardrobe ... I mean, beyond how well a given outfit highlights her ample breasts. Having her parade around like a show pony in one cutesy outfit after another is just laughable in light of the subject matter.

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8 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Mawkish fairy tale

Author: rps-2 from Bracebridge Ont
15 February 2001

Excellent performances by Anne Bancroft and Natasha Richardson fail to rescue this syrupy and predictable propaganda film. It's every bit as exploitive in its own way as the propaganda films the Nazis once made. They too were well acted and brilliantly produced but were made to sell a political message rather than entertain. This film's message may be very different but the technique, the one perfected by Dr.Goebbels, is the same. Like Exodus, it is not a story so much as a political manifesto. Maybe that should be the occasional role of film but frankly I'm tired of having guilt trips laid on me every few months. It's particularly embarrassing that all the American flag waving, done ad nauseam in the second episode, was created by Canadians. (The film was shot in and around Toronto and was in part Canadian financed.)

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