63 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)
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?


This movie is based off the book "The Devils Arithmetic" written by Jane Yolen. 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: I was thinking about how much help I could be to all of us.
Rivkah: What do you mean?
Hannah Stern: I had a history teacher who spent a whole semester talking about the Jews during the war, you know what I was doing? I was writing notes to my friends. I have no idea what my teacher said. The only thing I remember is that no one paid any attention to all of this.
Rivkah: You have a very vivid imagination, and it is causing you much needless pain.
Hannah Stern: I wish that was true.
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

User Reviews

This movie finds a way to tell about a tragedy to young generation
20 February 2006 | by CDavisConvTTUSee all my reviews

I believe that this movie was well acted as well as well thought out. The Question really is;"How do I tell young people about this terrible tragedy without being to graphic and still holding their attention. I think that the movie answered that question admirably. Kirsten Dunst is a great actress that showed her ability to tell a serious story with a sense of lightheartedness. Let's not forgot Brittany Murphy. She is a highly underrated actress who just barely broke the surface of what she can do in this movie. overall, if your looking to tell/show a group of preteen/teens the story of the holocaust without the brutality then this is the ONLY movie to show them.

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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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