7.6/10
2,023
26 user 21 critic

Kapo (1960)

Kapò (original title)
A young Jewish girl leads an escape attempt from a concentration camp.

Director:

Gillo Pontecorvo
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Susan Strasberg ... Edith, alias Nicole Niepas
Laurent Terzieff ... Sascha
Emmanuelle Riva ... Terese
Didi Perego Didi Perego ... Sofia
Gianni Garko ... Karl, German Soldier
Annabella Besi Annabella Besi
Graziella Galvani Graziella Galvani
Paola Pitagora
Eleonora Bellinzaghi Eleonora Bellinzaghi
Bruno Scipioni Bruno Scipioni
Dragomir Felba Dragomir Felba ... (as Felba Dragomir)
Mira Dinulovic Mira Dinulovic
Semka Sokolovic-Bertok Semka Sokolovic-Bertok ... (as Semca Sokolovic)
Dirjana Dojic Dirjana Dojic ... (as Dirjana Dojc)
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Storyline

Kapo is a black and white film that tells the story of a Jewish teenager sent to a concentration camp together with her parents. She manages to survive with the help of a Jewish doctor who gives her the identity of another woman who had died recently. Thus, Edith becomes Nicole and she is no longer a Jew, at least not in the papers. At first she is very sad about her parents' death but as time passed she realized she had to get out of that mood if she wanted to survive. So, she accepts an affair with a German officer even if she is only 14 and she starts getting privileges, becoming with time a Kapo, one of the women prisoners who were in charge with disciplining the other women. She knows it's the only way to survive but same time she lives in deep remorse even though she never shows any feelings. Written by Marina Ionescu

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One of six million UNTOLD stories WE DARE NOT FORGET!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, released as an "Essential Art House". See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, Edith walks past some shops on her way back home. One of the shops look like it belongs to the booming 1950s than the more austere WWII period. There is a toy car or baby push car in the store window that shows the typical car design of the 1950s. See more »

Quotes

Edith, alias Nicole Niepas: [to Sasha] Your mother won't like me, I'm not a good girl, and my name's not Nicole, I'm a Jew.
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User Reviews

Jarringly realistic, for 1959
8 January 2005 | by RipshinSee all my reviews

This Italian film, following the travails of a young Jewish girl in a Nazi work camp, is successful due mainly to its realistic sets, and the performances of Strasberg and Terzieff. Supporting cast members also shine throughout the film. The whole concept of the "kapo" is new to me, and it added a further dimension to the horrific Nazi experience not covered in films such as "Sophie's Choice" and "The Pianist." Deservedly, it was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Foreign Language Film) in 1960. Strangely enough, most filmographies of Strasberg fail to highlight her incredible performance in this film. Certainly, it must have reflected her performance as Anne Frank on Broadway. The same year as "Kapo," George Stevens released his film version of "Anne Frank," starring Millie Perkins, who took the role once Audrey Hepburn turned it down. Certainly, Strasberg must have been considered.

A "kapo" was a prisoner of a concentration camp that watched over the other prisoners in a specified group. A kapo received better clothing, food, and was not required to work. 2001's "The Grey Zone" would be an appropriate double-feature with this film.


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Details

Country:

Italy | France | Yugoslavia

Language:

Italian | German | Russian | Polish

Release Date:

29 September 1960 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Kapo See more »

Filming Locations:

Yugoslavia

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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