Some of us are probably familiar with the story of massacre of Jewish people by Nazi during the World Ward 2. To tell the truth, I know a little about it through several movies which most of them were box office in their time. The most well-known concentration camp is located in Auschwitz which was the silent witness of the massacre of (approximately) 1.1 million Jews. No wonder, then, that Auschwitz is known to be the largest concentration camps. It encompasses Auschwitz I, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Auschwitz-Monowitz and 45 satellite camps. During 1942 to 1944, death train had delivered millions of Jews to the gas chambers in Auschwitz. And finally the Soviet troops came and liberated Auschwitz on January 27 1945, which later became the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. To find out more about Auschwitz, you can read it here.
Now, I am going to list several movies I’ve watched which taken place during the Nazi occupancy:
- Life Is Beautiful – La vita è bella (1997)
This is a truly fantastic story about how a Jewish Italian, Guido Orefice, tries his best on saving his son’s life and makes everything in the camp to look like a game in his son’s eyes. He convinces his son, Giosué, to win a tank as the ultimate prize, in order to keep him alive. Guido successfully makes his son believes that they are about to win the game until the very end of his own life (this is the moment when I cried almost cried because even before he knew he’ll be shot to death, Guido still could make his son laughs). This movie itself brought its leading actor, Roberto Benigni, to win Oscar’s Best Actor along with other awards. It is truly a worth-watching movie.
- Schindler’s List (1993)
Another masterpiece from Steven Spielberg (who is a Jewish, himself), Schindler’s List tells a story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman, who saved more than a thousand Polish-Jewish during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. As you know, this movie has been awarded with 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Score, as well as numerous other awards (7 BAFTAs, 3 Golden Globes). Another astonishing fact about this movie is, instead of making a full color movie, Spielberg made it in black and white. Oh, and yeah, this movie is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally.
- The Pianist (2002)
The Pianist is a film directed by Roman Polanski and starred Adrien Brody as Władysław Szpilman, which is a real Jewish-Polish musician whom his autobiography has become the inspiration of the movie. This great movie also won the Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay, and nominated for Best Film, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Film Editing.
The story had deep connections with director Roman Polanski because he escaped from the Krakow Ghetto as a child after the death of his mother. He ended up living in a Polish farmer’s barn until the war’s end. His father almost died in the camps, but they reunited after the end of World War II.
- The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas
This is a movie I just watched several hours ago. Actually, my sister has recommended this movie a long time ago, but not until today I was able to watch it. On your left is actually a cover of a novel which the movie is based on. I haven’t read the book but I have seen the movie. And in my opinion, if the movie itself is that good, the book must be superb!
Now, on your right is one scene in the movie where Bruno, the son of high ranking SS Commandant, makes friend with Schmuel, a Jewish boy in the concentration camp. Bruno, who just moved with his family to the area near the concentration camp, finds a curiosity after seeing a place which looks like a farm a couple miles from his house. He is bored with his new house and decides to explore the woods behind his house, in a way to find the “farm”. He finally found the farm and the story gets intense here. The climax of this movie amazed me quite well; the irony of an SS Commandant whose soldiers put the Jews into the incineration, at the end found his own boy is burnt among those Jews. The innocence of a boy in this movie has played an important role on making it more moving. The cast for Bruno, Asa Butterfield, plays a perfect role in the movie. All in all, it is a recommended movie to watch.
Well, all those four movies are good great ones. Can I conclude that movies around Nazi are worth-watching? In my opinion, yes! It is mainly because those movies bring historical humanitarian issues in front of our eyes. To see such tragedy, our hearts must be moved. Well, well, well, don’t you feel a little bit curious about those movies? If you haven’t watched them, I suggest you to.
That’s all for today. Happy watching!