7.8/10
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3 user 7 critic

My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes (2014)

Why would someone risk their own skin, and their family, to do the right thing and protect the life of another human being? Dont Talk About It introduces four characters whose personal ... See full synopsis »

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Why would someone risk their own skin, and their family, to do the right thing and protect the life of another human being?

Dont Talk About It introduces four characters whose personal stories reflect the larger, untold saga of Italians who saved Jews and other refugees fleeing the Nazis in World War II. It also tells the story of Gino Bartali, the charismatic Italian sports idol and Tour de France cycling champion, whose role in this history was never revealed in his lifetime. The films four living characters were children in Italy under Fascism; each survived World War II thanks to Italians, like Bartali, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to help strangers escape Nazi persecution.

The story of Gino Bartali, and the secret underground network he worked with, stands in for the stories of thousands of Italians who risked their own lives to save others from capture and death. As almost the entire continent was engulfed in a genocide, which took the lives of most Jews in Nazi occupied...

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Don't Talk About It: Italy's Secret Heroes  »

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Stories of the righteous Italians...
25 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

I've watched quite a few documentaries and movies about the holocaust. However, this one is unusual because it specifically addresses the Italians and how they dealt with the Jews. Fortunately, although many folks were killed, many more were spared because according to this film, many Italians stepped up and risked their lives to save them. Now this is not to say a tragedy did not occur--but, fortunately, about 80% of the Jews in Italy did survive the war.

The beginning of the film talked about a famous Tour de France winner from Italy, Gino Bartali. Then, the film jumps to many other Italians and their stories before returning to Bartali's contributions to the resistance and how he helped fleeing Jews. It's an odd way of framing the story but it worked. What also worked well was seeing folks returning to the country decades later to discuss their stories and meet with folks or their relatives that saved them. Very touching and very well made...and very interesting.


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