Tag Archives: Holocaust

Playing for Time

During World War II, the French singer and pianist Fania Fénelon (Vanessa Redgrave) is sent to Auschwitz where she’s hired to perform together with a women’s orchestra. A critically acclaimed TV movie that came on the heels of the miniseries Holocaust (1978), presented like a play by Arthur Miller. Set in filthy, sparsely furnished camp … Continue reading Playing for Time

Sophie’s Choice

BETWEEN THE INNOCENT, THE ROMANTIC, THE SENSUAL, AND THE UNTHINKABLE. THERE ARE STILL SOME THINGS WE HAVE YET TO IMAGINE. Brooklyn, 1947; Southern writer Stingo (Peter MacNicol) moves into a house where he’s drawn into the turbulent lives of his neighbors, including Auschwitz survivor Sophie Zawistowski (Meryl Streep). William Styron’s novel was controversial in its … Continue reading Sophie’s Choice

Operation Finale

AFTER WORLD WAR II, THE MISSION FOR JUSTICE BEGAN.  In 1960, Israeli agents learn that one of the architects behind the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), is hiding in Buenos Aires; a mission is set up to capture him. This version of how Eichmann was finally brought to justice was inspired by Mossad agent Peter … Continue reading Operation Finale

Hannah Arendt

HER IDEAS CHANGED THE WORLD.  In 1961, philosopher and writer Hannah Arendt (Barbara Sukowa) is covering the Adolf Eichmann trial in Israel for the New Yorker, but doesn’t realize that her thoughts on the actions of Jewish leaders during the Holocaust will create a scandal… Margarethe von Trotta has depicted women in political dramas before … Continue reading Hannah Arendt

Judgment at Nuremberg: After Göring

THE EVENT THE WORLD WILL NEVER FORGET.  One of the most interesting and influential, but rarely discussed, TV shows of all time has to be Playhouse 90 (1956-1960). Over four years, this anthology series brought original TV plays into people’s living rooms, written and directed by some of the best in the business. Several of … Continue reading Judgment at Nuremberg: After Göring

Shoah: Oppressive and Invaluable

Often described as the most important documentary ever made, Shoah is a special experience. And it has posed challenges for critics. Two of the most influential ones had somewhat extreme reactions. Pauline Kael, whose parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland, called the film “exhausting right from the start” and thought it was “full of dead … Continue reading Shoah: Oppressive and Invaluable

War and Remembrance: The Last of the Elephants

The epic follow-up to the miniseries The Winds of War (1983) was made on a daunting scale, and unsurprisingly ended up killing the 1980s trend of huge, costly miniseries because of disappointing ratings. Watching War and Remembrance now is an almost curious experience; made on a budget exceeding $100 million, you can virtually see where … Continue reading War and Remembrance: The Last of the Elephants