In 2015, 94-year-old former German SS officer Oskar Gröning, nicknamed “The Accountant of Auschwitz”, went on trial in his home country, charged with complicity in the murder of 300,000 Jews at Auschwitz in 1944. The Accountant of Auschwitz is a gripping look at the race against time to prosecute the last living Nazi war criminals before it’s too late. Gröning’s trial reflects not only one frail bookkeeper’s penitence, but the world’s responsibility to hold the worst of human horrors forever to public view. Bringing war criminals to justice, with no statute of limitations, asks fundamental moral questions with few simple answers.
Kurt Gerstein is an SS officer employed in the SS Hygiene Institute, planning programs for water purification and destruction of pests. He is horrified to discover that the process he has developed to fight diseases like typhus using a hydrogen cyanide mixture called Zyklon B is being used to kill Jews in the camps. In this movie, directed by Costa Gavras, Gerstein pleads to the pope to stop the genocide, with the help of a young priest, to no avail. In yet another ugly display of human behavior during this dark period of history, the movie draws a disturbing picture of the Vatican’s silence regarding the Holocaust.
Director Louis Malle recalls his experiences as a child forever impacted by a friendship that ends in a most horrific way. In 1943 France, upperclass boarding student Julien (Gaspard Manesse) meets, and initially detests, new student Jean (Raphael Fejto). However, the two eventually become good friends, and Julien discovers a secret: Jean is one of several Jewish children the priest running the school is hiding from Nazi police. What unfolds is a beautiful story of friendship that is ripped apart when the Gestapo is tipped off, and Julien unwittingly betrays his friend. The film ends with Malle’s voiceover: “More than 40 years have passed, but I’ll remember every second of that January morning until the day I die.”
In 1941, Nazi soldiers are slaughtering Eastern European Jews by the thousands. Three brothers, Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Liev Schreiber) and Asael (Jamie Bell), manage to escape and take refuge in the forest where they played in childhood. Seeking a way to avenge the deaths of their loved ones, the brothers turn their daily struggle for survival into a battle against the Nazis. As news of their exploits spreads, others join the fray, willing to risk their lives for even brief freedom.
A 2016 biographical film directed by Mick Jackson and written by David Hare, based on Deborah Lipstadt’s 2005 book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier. It dramatizes the Irving v Penguin Books Ltd case, in which Lipstadt, a Holocaust scholar, was sued by Holocaust denier David Irving for libel. It stars Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall, Andrew Scott, Jack Lowden, Caren Pistorius and Alex Jennings.
Hannah Stern, played by Kirsten Dunst, is a young Jewish girl living in the United States in the late 20th century. On Passover eve, she is bored with the Seder and at one point complains she’s tired of remembering. When she opens the door for the prophet Elijah, she finds herself in Poland in 1942. Deported to a concentration camp and in the face of near-impossible odds, Hannah calls on all her inner resources – including hope and friendship – to survive. Based on a novel by Jane Yolen, the film was directed by Donna Deitch.
What more can be said about the young Jewish girl who lived in hiding, fearing for her life and the lives of her family members and friends, but also eloquently wrote of hope and belief in the kindness of man? This adaptation of her firsthand account of the events surrounding the Holocaust is considered to be the finest adaptation of her diary, with Millie Perkins giving a poignant portrayal of the inspirational girl, and Shelley Winters winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a fellow Jew in hiding.
Europa Europa is also based on a true account, of a Jewish boy who masqueraded as a Nazi Party activist to survive the Holocaust. Directed by Agnieszka Holland, who dealt with the Holocaust in several previous films, it tells the story of Solomon Perel, played by Marco Hofschneider. The family escapes to Poland but after its conquest by Germany, Solek is separated from family and lives in an orphanage. When the Nazis arrive, he ditches his papers, declares himself to be “Josef Peters”, an ethnic German and joins their forces in the war with Russia. He is sent to a Hitler Youth school, is almost shot by victorious Russian forces but survives the war – and reaches Israel. The movie won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
Based on actual events, “The Grey Zone” is the staggeringly powerful story of the Auschwitz’s twelfth Sonderkommando — one of the thirteen consecutive “Special Squads” of Jewish prisoners placed by the Nazis in the excruciating moral dilemma of helping to kill fellow Jews in exchange for a few more months of life. From inside the working organs of the infamous Auschwitz death camp, this film asks to what terrible lengths we are willing to go to save our own lives.
On its release, “Life is Beautiful” was hotly debated for having the audacity to employ humor in its treatment of the Holocaust. But that is how its protagonist, the Jewish-Italian waiter Guido, always navigated life, so why stop when he and his son are sent to a concentration camp? Both director Roberto Benigni (who co-wrote the script) and his onscreen character have an insatiable zest for life, helping to explain the film’s schizophrenia: It builds slowly from charming romance to Holocaust drama, delivering, from start to finish, a tour de force of the human spirit. Co-starring Nicoletta Braschi.
In 1939, Sir Nicholas Winton personally and by his own initiative saved the lives of 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and brought them across Hitler’s Germany to Britain. For nearly 50 years, he kept secret how he rescued these children, not even his wife knew anything about it. The story only emerged in 1988 when the BBC broadcast a thrilling show about the first meeting of approximately one hundred of the rescued children with their secret rescuer about whom they had known nothing for 50 years. The film features dramatic reenactments and never before seen archival footage as well as interviews with a number of rescued children, Sir Nicholas Winton himself, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Nobel Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel.
Thrilling drama from director Chris Weitz retelling the true-life story of Mossad agent Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and his team, who covertly hunted down and captured Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), while hiding in Argentina. Operation Finale shows Eichmann’s subsequent arrest and trial in Israel in 1961, where he was ultimately executed for his crimes.
Hollywood’s adaptation of Wladyslaw Szpilman autobiography, “The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945,” was a critical smash that won three Oscars. The story is a tragic first-person account as to how Warsaw gradually changes at the beginning of World War II. Szpilman, who is played by a very gaunt Adrien Brody, is eventually forced into the Warsaw Ghetto and separated from his family during Operation Reinhard. The film won director Roman Polanksi his only Oscar for Best Director and also won best adapted screenplay for Ronald Harwood. “The Pianist” is a true tear-jerker that stands the test of time as a great film for its honest and harrowing human portrayal of life under oppression and serves as a brutal reminder for how quickly freedom can be taken away.
Female prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp (Auschwitz) are spared from death in return for performing music for their captors. Based on the true story of Fanya Fenelon.
Based on a true story, this heart-wrenching film follows the journey of Gisella Perl (Christine Lahti), a Jewish-Hungarian doctor who manages to survive Auschwitz. Decades later, she’s applying for U.S. citizenship when she becomes accused of colluding with the Nazis. Her judge and jury are three INS investigators (played by Bruce Davison, Richard Crenna and Beau Bridges) who must decide her fate.
The Ritchie Boys is the riveting, untold story of a group of young men who fled Nazi Germany and returned as soldiers in U.S. uniforms. They knew the psychology and the language of the enemy better than anyone. In Camp Ritchie, Maryland, they were trained in intelligence and psychological warfare. Determined, bright, and inventive, they fought their own kind of war; they were victors, not victims.
Sarah’s Key is one of the few entirely fictional films on the Holocaust, featuring a past and present layer of narrative. The past goes back to 1942, the year when the deportation of the French Jews began in Paris with the infamous Vel d’Hiv Roundup. Following the Strazynski family, whose daughter Sarah (Mélusine Mayance) left her little brother locked up behind a secret door at their home; the film represents the humiliating terror of this event particularly well. The present thread of the narrative follows Julia (Kristin Scott Thomas), a journalist working on a story about the Roundup.
Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his factory with Jewish workers for similarly pragmatic reasons. When the SS begins killing Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.
Director Claude Lanzmann spent eleven years on this sprawling documentary about the Holocaust, conducting his own interviews and refusing to use a single frame of archival footage. Dividing Holocaust witnesses into three categories — survivors, bystanders and perpetrators — Lanzmann presents testimonies from survivors of the Chelmno concentration camp, an Auschwitz escapee and witnesses of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, as well as a chilling report of gas chambers from an SS officer at Treblinka.
Two days in the life of Saul Auslander, Hungarian prisoner working as a member of the Sonderkommando at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums who, to bury the corpse of a boy he takes for his son, tries to carry out his impossible deed: salvage the body and find a rabbi to bury it. While the Sonderkommando is to be liquidated at any moment, Saul turns away of the living and their plans of rebellion to save the remains of a son he never took care of when he was still alive.
Stingo (Peter MacNicol), a young writer, moves to Brooklyn in 1947 to begin work on his first novel. As he becomes friendly with Sophie (Meryl Streep) and her lover Nathan (Kevin Kline), he learns that Sophie is a Holocaust survivor. Flashbacks reveal her harrowing story, from pre-war prosperity to Auschwitz. In the present, Sophie and Nathan’s relationship increasingly unravels as Stingo grows closer to Sophie and Nathan’s fragile mental state becomes ever more apparent.
A 1946 American film noir starring Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, and Orson Welles. Welles’s third completed feature film as director and his first film noir is about a war crimes investigator tracking a high-ranking Nazi fugitive to a Connecticut town. It is the first Hollywood film to present documentary footage of the Holocaust.
A 1976 war drama directed by Stuart Rosenberg, with an all-star cast featuring Faye Dunaway, Oskar Werner, Lee Grant, Max von Sydow, James Mason, and Malcolm McDowell. The story was inspired by actual events concerning the fate of the ocean liner St. Louis carrying Jewish refugees from Germany to Cuba in 1939.
Sixty years after fleeing Vienna, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman, attempts to reclaim family possessions that were seized by the Nazis. Among them is a famous portrait of Maria’s beloved Aunt Adele: Gustave Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” With the help of young lawyer Randy Schoeberg (Ryan Reynolds), Maria embarks upon a lengthy legal battle to recover this painting and several others, but it will not be easy, for Austria considers them national treasures.
A 2017 war drama film directed by Niki Caro, written by Angela Workman, and based on Diane Ackerman’s non-fiction book. The film tells the true story of how Jan and Antonina Żabiński rescued hundreds of Polish Jews from the Germans by hiding them in their Warsaw zoo during World War II.
This documentary examines the legacy of the 1994 Rwandan genocide ten years later. Through interviews with key government officials, diplomats, soldiers, and survivors of the slaughter, Ghosts of Rwanda presents first-hand accounts of the genocide from those who lived it: the diplomats on the scene who thought they were building peace only to see their colleagues murdered; the Tutsi survivors who recount the horror of seeing their friends and family slaughtered by Hutu friends and co-workers; and the U.N. peacekeepers in Rwanda who were ordered not to intervene in the massacre. Note: This graphic film is not recommended for younger viewers.
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‘Shake Hands with the Devil’ is based on the book by Romeo Dallaire, the former Canadian General who was in command of U.N. forces in Rwanda at the time that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi happened. In this movie, Director Roger Spottiswoode brings a very special film realisation of the acclaimed best-seller to the screen in “Shake Hands with the Devil,” the story of a Canadian commander torn between his duty and his conscience when he finds himself an eyewitness to hell on earth. A reporter (Deborah Unger) remains in-country and follows General Dellaire as he is forced to deal with far-away superiors and the studied indifference of the world’s great powers while trying to take decisive action to stop the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed millions of innocent lives.
Like many would perceive, the title of the movie is self-explanatory. The story depicts the agony of a young woman set in Rwanda in the spring of 1994, at the outbreak of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. In the movie, Jacqueline, a young Tutsi woman, is a maid in a Belgian family. When she finds her children brutally murdered, she runs away and hides in the woods where she meets a male stranger who also escaping from the slaughter. Together, they strive to survive with the fear of being discovered at any moment. Terror awaited them at every corner.
This is a detailed movie about the gruesome tragedy that took place during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Directed by Raoul Peck, the movie features some of the renowned actors, Idris Elba and Carole Karemera who act as husband and wife of different ethnicity. It is their story of survival that makes this movie a deep one. This is a film that should be watched by everyone as it entails proper details of the tragic events of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Information regarding the aftermath of the massacre is well documented in this movie. Survivors who were willing to share their personal experience during the tragedy gave platform to a rare film production. Eric Kabera, the director of this movie says, “The overwhelming mood is not one of vengeance, although it is mentioned in passing by some, but it is of lingering trauma of a people who are struggling to move on while carrying the memories of their loved ones with them. There is talk of “forgiving but not forgetting”. It’s vitally important that Rwandans aren’t the only ones who remember these atrocities”
100 Days is a film directed by Nick Hughes and produced by Hughes and Eric Kabera. The film entails events of what happened during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The title of the film is a direct reference to the length of time that passed from the beginning of the Genocide in April until it ended in July 1994.
The movie is based on the experiences of BBC news producer David Belton, who worked in Rwanda during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The setting of the film is the École Technique Officielle (ETO) in Kigali. Hurt plays a Catholic priest (loosely based on Vjekoslav Ćurić) and Dancy an English teacher, both Europeans, who are caught up in the events of the genocide.
This movie focuses on the process of the Gacaca courts, a citizen-based justice system that was put into place after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. It also reflects on how people can live together after such a traumatic experience, and in the movie, we see survivors and killers learn how to coexist.
94’ Terror movie talks about Keza’s story; how a survivor of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. How she lost her family and how she later managed to survive after she miraculously crossed river Akagera to Uganda.
Munyurangabo is a 2007 film directed by Lee Isaac Chung. Filmed entirely in Rwanda with local actors, it is the first narrative feature film in Kinyarwanda. After stealing a machete from a market in Kigali, Munyurangabo and his friend Sangwa leave the city to return to their village. Munyurangabo seeks justice for his parents, who were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, while Sangwa wants to return to the home he left years ago. Although the two boys had planned to stay only a few hours, they end up spending several days. But, because they are from two different tribes, their friendship is sorely tried. Sangwa’s parents distrust Munyurangabo, and warn their son that Hutus and Tutsis are supposed to be enemies.
In the movie, a young Tutsi woman and a young Hutu man fall in love amidst chaos; a soldier struggles to foster a greater good while absent from her family; and a priest grapples with his faith in the face of unspeakable horror.