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A Esteticista (2005)

What starts out a standard talking head doc about one woman's experience in Auschwitz during WW2 turns into a picture of an aging Hungarian woman - Ms Emmy - and how having red hair saved ... See full summary »


Sergio Oksman


Emmy Blum
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Emmy Blum Emmy Blum


What starts out a standard talking head doc about one woman's experience in Auschwitz during WW2 turns into a picture of an aging Hungarian woman - Ms Emmy - and how having red hair saved her life. The filmmakers don't hide their involvement in the making of the film, rather are continually bossing her around, which allows us to appreciate the density, detail and focus of Ms Emmy's reflections. Written by Revelation Perth International Film Festival

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Esthetic for some, boredom for others
12 May 2008 | by GMeleJrSee all my reviews

I must first say that this movie does not deserve a 1.7 rating, based on 6 votes to date. I suspect all six votes came from the same person, or two or three who saw this little-seen film together.

INDIANA JONES, it is not. However, why would you expect it to be? A brief plot summary would surely have screened out these 5 or 6 voters. In this documentary-crazed era, we are seeing more and more long interviews edited into a feature documentary, than ever before. So few people these days tune into a program or go to the movies, without first knowing they are going to see a documentary, and what topic the doc focuses on.

If many people, the targeted audience I assume, can sit through 2 hours of "I WAS HITLER'S SECRETARY (with not one shot of anyone but the 90 year old chain-smoking Trudl), this film's target audience will certainly be satisfied after sitting through this film. The subject matter is very specific: the tales of survival of a beautician, who has lived in Brazil mostly, since the end of WWII. We also see she never achieved wealth & fame in Brazil, as this beautician is bossed around in her Salon, given orders to (in a parallel of what she also had to bearing the camps) and treated just like any anonymous citizen, which she also is.

For anyone interested in the stories of Holocaust survivors, this is quite an interesting film. We unfortunately almost always hear the depositions of Holocaust survivors who live in the USA or Israel, which have become so common place, that few are that unique.

Furthermore, survivors who have lived the unprecedented prosperity the US enjoyed after the war until recently, certainly have very skewed views of reality. Most of the survivors I've seen and heard never left the US again, or are expressly interviewed in their first trip "abroad" during organized, collective trips back to Eastern Europe, with other survivors - prompting a lot of sameness in their stories.

So, to hear the story of this survivor in her good, but still-heavily accented Portuguese, is a rare opportunity. But, beware, it is definitely only for those interested in the subject matter. It has been playing in Brazilian TV these last 18 months or so, I think those very unfair 1, 2 or 3 votes came from "Joe Blow" TV viewers, who just saw this by accident. Then, the next time they visited this site, they vented their anger at this film's lack of "traditional" (Hollywood) elements by voting it down.

Make up your own mind about this documentary if you like the subject matter. Don't go by what 6 people have voted down, at a click of a mouse, but haven't commented on why it's so bad. I think votes below 4 should require a comment in order to be counted as valid.

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2005 (Brazil) See more »

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I aisthitikos See more »

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Documenta Films See more »
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