Moviewallas

After Auschwitz | Review

As the 70th anniversary of Holocaust Remembrance Day approached earlier this year, Poland passed some controversial legislation criminalizing any mention of Poles “Being responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich.” They stated that the harshest penalties would be reserved for those who referred to Nazi-era concentration camps such as Auschwitz as “Polish death camps.”  Many in Israel called this an attempt to whitewash the role that some Poles had in the detention and killing of around three million Polish Jews during World War 2.

Regardless of what you may think about who was complicit or how we refer to the role of Poland specifically, one thing is for certain; the holocaust occurred, it was one of the atrocious cases of mass killing, and we need to do everything we can to make sure such horrors never happen again.  This alone makes AFTER AUSCHWITZ critical and compelling viewing.  Recently I was invited to a sedar dinner where our host explained that one of the last remaining holocaust survivors at their local synagogue had just passed.  As the years move on, so do most of the remaining survivors and our ability to hear directly from them about the atrocities each of them faced for a period of their lives

Jon Kean’s AFTER AUSCHWITZ, is a “Post-Holocaust” documentary that follows six incredible women after their liberation from Nazi concentration camps.  It effectively captures what it means to move from tragedy and trauma towards life although we quickly learn that despite these women surviving and going on to build productive lives in the United States, they never truly find a place to call home.  Well-constructed with appropriate archival footage and in-depth interviews, the documentary examines the question around what happens after surviving an unspeakable horror.

For survivors of the Holocaust, liberation was both an incredible moment and a devastating one. It marked the beginning of a life-long struggle. Most wanted to go home, but home no longer existed in devastated post-war Europe. Many came to America and wanted to tell people about their experiences but were silenced. “You’re in America now, put it behind you” is what they were told. The women Kean follows became mothers and wives with successful careers, but never fully healed from the scars of the past

Their stories not only show the indelible role immigrants and women played in the history of America during the second half of the 20th century, but also how each of them tried to assimilate, some more successfully than others. In all cases however, what strikes the watcher most about these resilient and inspiring women and what is captured perfectly is this incredible will to survive and a sense of duty they feel to live a full life.

Although AFTER AUSCHWITZ deals with a specific group of survivors, it is universal in the questions it ponders about which relate to moving on after tragedy and adapting to a “normal” life. It’s a story we see repeated by survivors of other genocides – a sad recurring reality that haunts the women in AFTER AUSCHWITZ. Their suffering from post-traumatic stress is also unfortunately universal, as seen in the lives of soldiers coming home from war and even in victims of childhood abuse.

“We normally learn about the Holocaust as if it started with Germany invading Poland, and liberation was the end of it,” says Kean. “Allied soldiers triumphantly told Jews in camps, ‘you’re free, go home.’ But what happened to survivors on the day after liberation? And the day after that? That’s the film I wanted to make. By seeing the world through the eyes of these amazing women, we not only hear unique female voices, we witness stories of resiliency and determination that audiences have never heard before.”  Mission accomplished.

This is a rush out and see documentary that is compelling, heart wrenching and inspiring all at the same time.

AFTER AUSCHWITZ opens in Los Angeles on May 4th however for more information about the film, including dates, cities and theaters, visit https://www.AfterAuschwitz.com

Episode 389 – Tribeca Film Festival 2018 (Day 3) – #tribeca2018

 

 

Day 3 of the Tribeca Film Festival coverage:

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Movie (click thumbnail for details) Timestamp
The Feeling of Being Watched

 

2:10
Studio 54

 

11:15
The Elephant and The Butterfly

 

17:40
Satan & Adam

25:35
The American Meme

31:45
Mary Shelley

 

42:35

 

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Episode 388 – Tribeca Film Festival 2018 (Day 2) – #tribeca2018

We continue our coverage from the Tribeca Film Festival 2018 with:

 

Play

 

Movie (click thumbnail for details) Timestamp
In a Relationship

 4:05
The Bleeding Edge

11:50
Enhanced

 23:15
Egg

 29:05
Nigerian Prince

 40:40
Untogether

 

 51:15

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Episode 387 – Tribeca Film Festival 2018 (Day 1) #tribeca2018

 

 

Welcome to our coverage of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.  Since we are podcasting ‘live from the fest’, check back in a day or two for more detail in these show notes.  In this Podcast we discuss:

Play

Movie (click thumbnail for details) Timestamp
Bobby Kennedy for President

2:45
 Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie

8:00
The Great Pretender

13:45
 Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

17:20
 To Dust

23:15
 The Party’s Just Beginning

28:20
 It’s a Hard Truth Ain’t it

33:45

 

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Episode 386 – A Quiet Place / Finding Your Feet / Blockers

In this episode of Moviewallas, we pontificate over:

  

  • Blockers
  • Finding your Feet
  • A Quiet Place
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Episode 385 – Unsane / Isle of Dogs / Ready Player One

There’s no time for Netflix picks this week because we are overflowing with thoughts on:

  • Unsane
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Ready Player
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Episode 384 – Tomb Raider / The Death of Stalin / Pacific Rim: Uprising

It’s time for Moviewallas!  In this podcast we talk about:

  

– Tomb Raider

– The Death of Stalin

– Pacific Rim: Uprising

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Beirut | Review

Oscillating between suspenseful spy thriller and geopolitical drama set in the middle east, BEIRUT follows a U.S. diplomat (Jon Hamm) who returns to Lebanon after 10 years, working with a CIA operative (Rosamund Pike) to negotiate for the life of a friend he left behind.

Superbly directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist, “The Wire”) with a tight script written by Tony Gilroy (The Bourne IdentityMichael Clayton), Beirut will have you on the edge of your seat as you watch an effective cat and mouse chase unfold, only the cat and mouse often change places and we never quite know who is pulling the strings or the political agendas at play.

Set against the back drop of war torn Lebanon in 1982, the movie is relevant to the goings-on in the region today.  This serves to be both depressing in that not much seems to have changed in the two decades that have passed since but also a reminder of just how complicated the politics of this area of the world remain.  The movie effectively holds a mirror to the role that the US often plays in such political treacle using the story of a highly skilled negotiator played expertly by John Hamm who is forced back to the very place he escaped from ten years earlier following tragedy.  A hauntingly beautiful score never lets us forget where we are as we see that war often creates situations and people who can be labelled as hero or terrorist yet when viewed through a different lens, those who are treated as criminals are often the very victims of the situation themselves.

The movie is both thrilling and surprising at times as it twists and turns to a thrilling finale with great performances and well rounded characters.  Rosamund Pike holds her own against a mostly male cast and reminds us yet again of just how versatile she is.  The movie does however expect you to know a little of the history of the region and doesn’t spend a lot of time educating you about it.

Beirut manages to be effectively nostalgic  of an era gone by yet current and fresh despite the fact that it is set in the eighties. The movie opens Nationwide on April 11, check local listings for dates and times.

 

 

 

Episode 383 – A Wrinkle in Time / Gringo / Love, Simon

In this episode of the Moviewallas Podcast we bring you our thoughts on:

  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Gringo
  • Love, Simon
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Episode 382 – Black Panther / Annihilation

2018 has been off to a slow start so far, but we have a couple of new releases to talk about in this week’s podcast.

  • Annihilation 
  • Black Panther 

We also recap a few new smaller and/or VOD releases from our Tribeca archives:

  • Women Who Kill
  • Permission
  • Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
  • Flower
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