Shanghai became a real option for those Jews who had no place to go and they scrambled to buy all the luxury ship tickets to go to Shanghai because that was the only way you could go at that point.
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So powerful "Schindler's List" pales in comparison
"Shanghai Ghetto" might sound boring at first glance: it is a ninety minute documentary.
But this film is so heavily emotional, it is so chilling and thought provoking, that it makes "Schindler's List" seem trivial.
The story is told simply enough. Narration is used when needed, but the majority of the movie is told by the very people who were there, the very Jews who escaped Hitler's tyranny by fleeing to Shanghai.
The survivors of the Shanghai Ghetto are all remarkable. They are excellent story tellers and they are able to give the audience a lot of details. The movie also does an excellent job of providing relevant visuals as they speak, so that what you hear you also see.
The thing that makes this film stand out above other Holocaust films is the combination of historical footage and eyewitness accounts. "Schindler's List" was an amazing film, but the viewer could still remain blissfully detached because we never heard an eyewitness account. But in "Shanghai Ghetto," the eyewitness testimonials give you no choice but to be personally involved.
I walked out of this film feeling overcome with emotion. In the car on the way home, I made myself promise to never allow a crime like the Holocaust to be perpetrated on humanity again. It is quite rare that I feel this emotional after seeing a movie, but "Shanghai Ghetto" is simply amazing.
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