Several creators have explored Movies About The Holocaust. Here are 25 of our favorites.
From Steven Spielberg, starring Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall
Schindler's List is an Academy Award winning 1993 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg. The film is based on Thomas Keneally’s 1982 book Schindler's Ark and is loosely based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. The film follows Schindler's actions over the course of World War II as he works to protect his Jewish workforce from the Nazi regime. The film stars Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, and Embeth Davidtz. It was released on December 15, 1993 and went on to become the highest-grossing film of that year, winning seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Spielberg), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Steven Zaillian).
From Claude Lanzmann, starring Simon Srebnik, Michael Podchlebnik, Motke Zaïdl, Hanna Zaïdl
Rated Not Rated
Shoah is an epic nine-and-a-half-hour documentary by acclaimed French director Claude Lanzmann. The film is a study of the Holocaust and its devastating effects on the people involved. It includes interviews with survivors, perpetrators, and bystanders, all accompanied by actual footage of the Holocaust, as well as of present-day visits to the sites of former concentration camps. The film is an attempt to document the entirety of the Holocaust experience, from its origins and planning, to the execution and aftermath. It also explores the long-term effects of the Holocaust on the survivors, both physically and emotionally. Ultimately, the film is an attempt to grapple with the incomprehensible horror of the Holocaust, and to honor and remember the millions of victims.
From Roman Polanski, starring Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Frank Finlay, Emilia Fox
The Pianist is a biographical drama film directed by Academy Award-winning director Roman Polanski. It tells the story of Władysław Szpilman, a Polish Jewish musician, who survived the German occupation of Poland and the Holocaust. The film follows Szpilman's struggles to survive the brutalities of the Nazi regime, including being sent to the Warsaw Ghetto and narrowly escaping deportation to the concentration camps. During his struggles, Szpilman finds solace in playing the piano. The film's critically acclaimed performance by Adrien Brody won him the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 75th Academy Awards. The Pianist was a major success, winning the Palme d'Or, the BAFTA Award for Best Film, and the César Award for Best Film.
From Stanley Kramer, starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich
Judgment at Nuremberg is a 1961 American legal drama film directed by Stanley Kramer. It tells the story of an American judge who must preside over a war crimes trial in post-WWII Germany. The defendants, four Nazi judges, are accused of crimes against humanity for their role in endorsing Nazi atrocities. The film examines the issues of individual responsibility and complicity in a criminal regime. It features an all-star cast, including Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Richard Widmark, and Maximilian Schell. The film was a critical and commercial success and won two Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Schell's performance. The film's courtroom drama is widely considered to be one of the greatest films of all time.
From André Singer, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Jasper Britton, Leonard Berney, George Leonard
Rated Not Rated
Night Will Fall is a 2014 British documentary film directed by André Singer. The film tells the story of the liberation of the concentration camps in 1945, and the making of a documentary by Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Bernstein and their team at the Imperial War Museum. Through previously unseen footage and interviews with survivors, the film follows the journey of Allied forces as they discovered the true horrors of the Holocaust. It reveals how the original documentary, German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, was lost and forgotten for 70 years, before being painstakingly restored and released in 2014. The film also discusses the difficulties faced by those who witnessed the horrific events of the Holocaust, and how they struggled to come to terms with it in the aftermath.
From James Moll, starring Bill Basch, Martin Basch, Randolph Braham, Alice Lok Cahana
The Last Days is an Academy Award-winning documentary film by director James Moll. It tells the story of five Hungarian Jews and their families as they faced the horrors of the Holocaust. The film follows the five individuals over a period of three years as they attempt to stay alive and preserve their human dignity while surrounded by death and despair. Through interviews with survivors, archival footage and animation, the film paints a powerful portrait of courage and resilience in the face of tragedy. At the same time, it serves as a reminder of the tragic consequences of unchecked hatred and bigotry. The Last Days serves as an important reminder that the Holocaust should never be forgotten.
From Mark Herman, starring Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Zac Mattoon O'Brien
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a 2008 British-American historical drama film set in World War II, directed and co-produced by Mark Herman. The film tells the story of Bruno, an eight-year-old German boy, and his family who move to a new house near a concentration camp. There he meets an unlikely friend: a young Jewish boy named Shmuel, who is living in the camp. Through their friendship, Bruno learns the harsh realities of the Holocaust and the devastating effects of prejudice and hatred. Despite the differences in their backgrounds, the two boys remain close, hoping to find a way out of the camp. In the end, however, their friendship is tragically cut short by the horror of the war.
Jeffrey Friedman, starring Rupert Everett, Klaus Müller, Karl Gorath, Pierre Seel
Rated Not Rated
Paragraph 175 is a 2000 documentary film about the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the film follows the stories of five men and one women who were arrested and convicted under Paragraph 175, a German statute prohibiting homosexual acts. Through interviews with survivors, archival footage, and recreations, the film sheds light on the courage and resilience of these individuals, as well as the effects of Nazi persecution on the LGBT community in Germany. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2000.
From Sidney Lumet, starring Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters, Jaime Sánchez
The Pawnbroker is a 1964 drama directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Rod Steiger. The film tells the story of Sol Nazerman, a Jewish Holocaust survivor living in Harlem who runs a pawnshop as a means of supporting himself and his family. Despite his personal tragedy, Sol has become emotionally and spiritually numb, apathetic to the harshness of the world around him. As the film progresses, Sol interacts with his customers and peers, slowly coming to terms with his past and allowing himself to experience emotions and connections once again.
From Jan Hrebejk, starring Bolek Polívka, Csongor Kassai, Jaroslav Dusek, Anna Sisková
Divided We Fall is a Czech-language dramatic comedy directed by Jan Hrebejk, released in 2000. The film tells the story of Josef and Marie, a married couple living in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. When Josef's former Jewish employer, Mr. Lauffer, decides to hide in their home, Josef and Marie find themselves in a complex moral situation. Forced to choose between loyalty to their country and compassion for a persecuted people, they make a decision that could have grave consequences for them both. The film follows the couple as they navigate their difficult circumstances, while also offering a portrait of the resilience and courage of a people determined to survive in the face of adversity.
From Agnieszka Holland, starring Solomon Perel, Marco Hofschneider, René Hofschneider, André Wilms
Europa Europa is a 1990 German-French-Polish historical drama film directed by Agnieszka Holland. The film follows the story of Jewish teenager Solomon Perel (Marco Hofschneider). Perel is forcibly separated from his family in 1939 and survives the war by disguising himself as a German orphan and joining the Hitler Youth. As he struggles to maintain his identity and survive, he finds himself stranded in a chaotic world of shifting identities and loyalty, amidst the brutality of war. The film features themes of identity, identity crisis, and the human price of war. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.
From Radu Mihaileanu, starring Lionel Abelanski, Rufus, Clément Harari, Michel Muller
Train of Life (1998) is a French-Romanian-Israeli comedy-drama film directed by Radu Mihaileanu. The film follows a small Jewish village in Eastern Europe during the Nazi occupation. The villagers, led by the town's rabbi, come up with a plan to save themselves and their families from certain death. They disguise their shtetl as a German train and make a daring escape across the border. Throughout their journey, the villagers must maintain the illusion of a real train while dealing with the hardships of life in a war-torn region. Along the way, they also must grapple with their own conscience and the consequences of their actions. The film is an uplifting story about the power of human ingenuity and the courage of everyday people. It features a stellar cast of international actors including Lionel Abelanski, Rufus, Sorel and Elsa Zylberstein.
From Gilles Paquet-Brenner, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Frédéric Pierrot
Elle s'appelait Sarah (She Was Named Sarah) is a 2010 French-language drama directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner. It is the story of a young Jewish girl named Sarah who is separated from her parents during the Nazi occupation of Paris during World War II. Through a mixture of different perspectives, the film follows the journey of Sarah and her family as they attempt to survive the horrific events of that time. Despite the odds, Sarah is determined to survive and carry on her family's memory. The film is a powerful and moving story which ultimately shows the resilience of the human spirit.
From Stefan Ruzowitzky, starring Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow, Martin Brambach
The Counterfeiters is a 2007 Academy Award-winning drama directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky. The film tells the incredible true story of "Operation Bernhard," the Nazi plan to destabilize the British economy by flooding it with fake Bank of England notes during World War II. At the center of the film is Jewish counterfeiter Salomon Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics), who is drafted into the counterfeiting operation and tasked with creating the fake currency. Despite being a prisoner of the Nazis, Sorowitsch is determined to survive and uses his skills to create the best counterfeits possible in order to prolong his own life. Through the difficult moral dilemma he faces, Sorowitsch must decide between his own survival and that of his fellow Jews. The Counterfeiters is a powerful and emotional Holocaust drama that explores the limits of human courage and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds.
From Brian Percival, starring Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer
The Book Thief is a 2013 war drama film directed by Brian Percival and based on the international best-selling novel of the same name by Markus Zusak. The film follows the story of a young girl named Liesel Meminger who is taken in by a foster family in Nazi Germany during the Second World War. She is exposed to the horrors of war, but finds solace in books, which she steals to read. As the war escalates, Liesel and her family risk their lives to protect a Jewish refugee and hide him in their house. Through her courage and resilience, Liesel learns to find hope and comfort in the power of words, even during the darkest of times.
From Michèle Ohayon, starring J.P. Gillain, Jeroen Krabbé, Marieke Oudejans, Jack Polak
Rated Not Rated
Steal a Pencil for Me is a 2007 documentary directed by Michèle Ohayon. The film tells the story of Ina and Jaap, a couple who fell in love while incarcerated in a World War II concentration camp. Ina and Jaap's story was kept a secret for over 60 years, until the couple, now in their 80s, allowed their story to be told in this film. Through interviews with the couple, their children, and other survivors of the Holocaust, the film tells the story of how Ina and Jaap used courage and resourcefulness to survive the concentration camps and rekindle their love. At the same time, it is a testament to the power of love and hope in the face of unimaginable horror.
From István Szabó, starring Ralph Fiennes, Rosemary Harris, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Ehle
Sunshine is a 1999 drama film directed by István Szabó and starring Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, William Hurt, and Jennifer Ehle. Set in late 19th century to early 20th century Hungary, the film follows the rise and fall of the Sonnenschein family. The family matriarch, Valerie (played by Rosemary Harris), is a Hungarian-born Jew living with her three sons and husband, Ignatz (played by William Hurt). Each of her sons has a drastically different outlook on life and each takes a dramatically different path. Ivan (played by Ralph Fiennes) is a successful lawyer and a non-observant Jew who is approached by a powerful government official to convert to Christianity. His brother, Adam (played by James Frain), is an idealistic writer who dreams of being a successful playwright. The youngest son, Tibor (played by Lawrence Fox), chooses a more radical path and joins the Bolshevik revolutionaries in Russia. The film follows the Sonnenschein family as they navigate their divergent paths and come to terms with the changing times. As the family's fortunes rise and fall, their story is intertwined with the struggles of the Hungarian people and the eventual surrender of the
From Yael Hersonski, starring Alexander Beyer, Rüdiger Vogler, Hanna Avrutzki, Luba Gewisser
From Liev Schreiber, starring Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Lyoskin, Jonathan Safran Foer
From Claude Lanzmann, starring Benjamin Murmelstein, Claude Lanzmann
From George Stevens, starring Millie Perkins, Shelley Winters, Joseph Schildkraut, Richard Beymer
From Amir Bar-Lev, starring Arnost Lustig, Jan Wiener
Rated Not Rated
From László Nemes, starring Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn, Todd Charmont
From Pawel Pawlikowski, starring Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik, Jerzy Trela
From Agnieszka Holland, starring Robert Wieckiewicz, Benno Fürmann, Agnieszka Grochowska, Maria Schrader
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