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Films in Honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day

1945 (Available on Chai Flicks)

Hungarian director Ferenc Török’s adaptation of a short story by Gabor T. Szanto is a black-and-white drama set in the immediate postwar period in rural Hungary. On a summer day in 1945, an Orthodox man and his grown son return to a village in Hungary while the villagers prepare for the wedding of the town clerk’s son. The townspeople – suspicious, remorseful, fearful and cunning – expect the worst and behave accordingly. 2017.

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CONSPIRACY (AVAILABLE ON AMAZON)

At the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942, senior Nazi officials meet to determine the manner in which the so-called “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” can be best implemented. Starring Kenneth Branagh, Clare Bullus and Stanley Tucci, who won a Golden Globe for his performance in the film. 2001.


 

The Invisibles (Available on Amazon, Vudu)

While Joseph Goebbels infamously declared Berlin “free of Jews” in 1943, 1,700 managed to survive in the Nazi capital through the end of WWII. The Invisibles traces the stories of four young people who learned to hide in plain sight. 2017.


 

Joe’s Violin (Available on web)

In this inspiring short film (24 minutes) nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor donates his violin to an instrument drive, changing the life of a 12-year-old schoolgirl from the Bronx and unexpectedly, his own. Nominated for 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Film.

Gold Coast Arts would like to remember Joseph Feingold, whose act of kindness and musical friendship was captured in the Oscar-nominated short documentary JOE’S VIOLIN, passed away from complications relating to COVID-19 at the age of 97. 

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The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Available on Vimeo)

In this short film (40 minutes) Aliza Sommer-Herz, aged 109 and the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, tells the story of how music saved her life: both during her time at Theresienstadt concentration camp and in the years afterwards. Winner Best Documentary Short Film at the 2014 Academy Awards. 2013.

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Life is Beautiful (Available on Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube)

A life-affirming story of an open-minded Jewish librarian and his son. When they become victims of the Holocaust, he uses a perfect mixture of will, humor, and imagination to protect his son from the dangers around their camp. Winner of three Academy Awards. 1997.


 

The Number on Great-Grandpa’s Arm (Available on HBO)

In this short film (19 minutes), a  conversation between a boy and his great-grandfather, an Auschwitz survivor, is woven with historical footage and animation to tell a heartbreaking story of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, sharing lessons from the Holocaust with a new generation. 2018.

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Prosecuting Evil (Available on Amazon)

A portrait of Ben Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg Trial prosecutor, who continues to wage his lifelong crusade in the fight for law and peace. 2018.


 

The Pawnbroker (Available on Amazon, YouTube)

On the strength of Rod Steiger’s earthshaking performance, this Sidney Lumet tour-de-force was the first American film to depict the horrors of the Holocaust as they manifested after the war was over—and still remains perhaps the greatest. Steiger is Sol Nazerman, a former university professor who survived the camps after losing his two children and wife. Years later, Nazerman owns and runs a pawn shop in Harlem, where he has become an abject misanthrope, emotionally numb and ruthlessly unsympathetic—until, finally, he snaps. 1964.


 

The Resistance Banker (Available on Netflix)

Chosen as Netherland’s entry for the Oscars, The Resistance Banker shows the audacious actions of Walraven van Hall and his brother, Gijsbert, members of a prominent banking family, who for three years bankrolled the Dutch resistance. Together, they stole $250million from Nazi-controlled coffers and borrowed an additional $250m from other bankers to carry out attacks, smuggle Allied pilots to safety and provide financial support to at least 8,000 Jews in hiding during the Second World War. The bravery of van Hall, who was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem in 1978, is powerfully told. 2018.


 

Schindler’s List (Available on Start, RedBox, Amazon)

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis. Winner of seven Academy Awards. 1993.


 

SHOAH (CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE TO STREAM ONLINE)

Claude Lanzmann’s award-winning epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses – perpetrators as well as survivors. Over nine hours long and 11 years in the making, the film presents Lanzmann’s interviews with survivors, witnesses and perpetrators during visits to German Holocaust sites across Poland, including extermination camps. Claude Lanzmann directed this 9 1/2 hour documentary of the Holocaust without using a single frame of archive footage. He interviews survivors, witnesses, and ex-Nazis (whom he had to film secretly since they only agreed to be interviewed by audio). 1985.


 

Son of Saul (Available on Amazon, Vudu)

A Jewish-Hungarian concentration camp prisoner sets out to give a child he mistook for his son a proper burial. Winner 2016 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. 2015.

 


 

Steal A Pencil For Me (Available on Netflix)

A compelling documentary feature film by Academy Award® nominee Michèle Ohayon about the power of love and the ability of humankind to rise above unimaginable suffering. 1943: Holland is under total Nazi occupation. In Amsterdam, Jack, an unassuming accountant, first meets Ina at a birthday party – a 20-year-old beauty from a wealthy diamond manufacturing family who instantly steals his heart. But Jack’s pursuit of love will be complicated; he is poor and married to Manja, a flirtatious and mercurial spouse. When the Jews are being deported, the husband, the wife and the lover find themselves at the same concentration camp; actually living in the same barracks. When Jack’s wife objects to the “girlfriend” in spite of their unhappy marriage, Jack and Ina resort to writing secret love letters, which sustain them throughout the horrible circumstances of the war. 2007.


 

PODCAST

We Share the Same Sky

Launching September 29, 2019, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education introduces its first-ever testimony-based podcast, We Share the Same Sky. In a seven-episode arc, We Share the Same Sky presents an intimate portrait of Rachael Cerrotti’s family history and her own personal journey of love and loss as she retraces the steps of her grandmother, Hana Seckel-Drucker, who was displaced across Europe during and in the wake of World War II.

We Share the Same Sky is available for streaming and download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and most podcast streaming services.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN NOW