65 user 2 critic

The Devil's Arithmetic (1999)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, War | TV Movie 28 March 1999
A 16-year-old American girl with an apathetic view towards her Jewish family history finds herself pulled through time into 1941 to a small Polish village where the Nazis have just begun their genocidal propaganda.


Donna Deitch


Jane Yolen (novel), Robert J. Avrech (teleplay)
4,980 ( 40)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirsten Dunst ... Hannah Stern
Brittany Murphy ... Rivkah
Paul Freeman ... Rabbi
Mimi Rogers ... Leonore Stern
Louise Fletcher ... Aunt Eva
Lilo Baur Lilo Baur ... Mina
Nitzan Sharron Nitzan Sharron ... Ariel
Shelly Skandrani ... Leah
Daniel Brocklebank ... Shmuel
Kirsty McFarland Kirsty McFarland ... Yetta
Rachel Roddy Rachel Roddy ... Esther
Ieva Jackeviciute Ieva Jackeviciute ... Miriam
Philip Rham Philip Rham ... Commandant Krieger
Daniel Rasch Daniel Rasch ... Officer Steinbach (as Daniel Rausch)
Polina Soloveicik Polina Soloveicik ... Sarah (as Paulina Soloveicik)


Another telling of the Holocaust, this time from the perspective of a modern teenage girl who only grudgingly accepts the Jewish traditions, but when she is asked to "open the front door" as part of the Seder feast discovers that she has been whirled into the 1940s and stepped into the life of a prisoner in one of the German death camps, where she experiences its horrors firsthand. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Live to tell


Drama | Fantasy | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


A scene from this movie appears in Wag the Dog (1997) as the faked footage of an orphan in Albania. See more »


The rabbi says it's October 26 5703 and then Rivka says the Christian year is 1941, but the Hebrew year 5703 began in September 1942. Fall 1941 should be 5702. The rabbi also says October. He should've said Cheshvan. The date should've been either 5 Cheshvan 5702 or 15 Cheshvan 5703. See more »


Hannah Stern: Do you know what a stupid girl I used to be? I almost got one of these put on!
[shows the number tattooed on her arm]
Hannah Stern: Can you believe that? I wanted to get tattooed!
Rivkah: Don't talk foolishness!
Hannah Stern: It is foolishness, isn't it? My whole life has been foolishness. I'm being punished, that's it, God is punishing me.
Rivkah: I forbid you to say that. Is God punishing me? Is He punishing the children? I won't believe that.
Hannah Stern: Then why? Why?
Rivkah: Ask them why. Ask the Nazis, not me, don't ask me.
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

User Reviews

Pretty good for a low-budgeted, made-for-tv-movie
15 April 2000 | by itooslik4uSee all my reviews

Taking place in modern-day times and in 1941, THe Devil's Aritmetic is well-presented and clever. However, it does not give you the realistic, heartbreaking effect that Schindler's List did. They should have given the audience a better effect by maybe spending a little more money. Kirsten Dinst "travels" back in time to a concentration camp and sees what the Jews went through. There she learns the story of some ancestors of her Jewish family. With a satisfying cast of Mimi Rogers, Kirsten Dunst, and many others, The Devil's Arithmetic is all in all not that bad.

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Release Date:

28 March 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Arithmetic See more »

Filming Locations:

Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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