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Top 50 Best Holocaust Movies Of All Time

AishwaryaAishwarya-Posted Nov 15, 2021


Holocaust Movies

 

All wars usually mean a great loss of life, loved ones, and broken families. Since the beginning of civilization, we have seen the damage that wars have caused.

 

As much as the actual warfare, the destabilization of economies, communities, and jobs also adds to the damage.

 

World War II also came with the loss of life and loved ones. But, what was the biggest contributor to the loss of lives and loved ones during this war?

 

Was it just the shooting and bombing by both sides? Was it just the fall of half of Europe and Japan?

 

No, the biggest contributor to the damage done by World War II was the Nazi Holocaust.

 

The irrational ethnic cleansing conducted by Hitler and his party caused the death of over six million Jews.

 

While the number of people who die can be measured, the damage done to the survivors cannot be measured.

 

The Nazi concentration camps where Jews, prisoners of war, and resistance fighters were imprisoned, was comparable to hell on earth.

 

The living conditions were not just inhumane, they were torturous. The prisoners were given less than minimum ration or warm clothing.

 

Men, women, and children were crammed like sardines in a tin. The death toll during World War II was approximately 11 million, and out of it, six million were killed in these concentration camps after undergoing torture, and human experimentation.

 

All this madness was done in the name of nationalism, patriotism, the superiority of race and religion.

 

While most of us have never experienced or seen that amount of cruelty of man, we can see a glimpse of it and the damage it did through the movies.

 

While Hollywood has made many movies on the Holocaust and the World War, the most poignant and soul-stirring films on this topic came from European filmmakers.

 

We at ENTOIN, have collated a list of the best movies based on the Holocaust and its after-effects.

 

We have tried to keep the number of documentaries to a minimum and choose movies that have portrayed the lives of the Holocaust victims and survivors.

 

 

50. The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

 

The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Zookeeper's Wife
Year 2017
Watch time 127 min
Directors Niki Caro
Cast Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Brühl, Timothy Radford
Box Office $17.45M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 57
Writers Angela Workman
Music By Harry Gregson-Williams
Cinematography By Andrij Parekh
Costume By Suzie Davies

 

The Zookeeper’s Wife is a war movie based on a Polish couple and their efforts to rescue as many Jews as they can.

 

The film was directed by Niki Caro and the story is based on a non-fictional book with the same name written by Diane Ackerman.

 

The story is set in the year 1939 when the Nazi party overtook Warsaw and occupied Poland.

 

The Germans started to force the Jews into ghettos. The Polish resistance army was failing miserably in keeping the Germans at bay.

 

At this time, the head of Warsaw Zoo, Dr. Heck aligns himself with the Nazi party to start reforming the zoo and kick out the Jews.

 

The Zabinski family are resistance fighters, and they use all their resources like the zoo cages, their home, the tunnels beneath the zoo to illegally house rescued Jews.

 

They are successful to a certain degree in moving people from the ghettos to the temporary housing in the zoo.

 

When Dr. Heck realizes their affiliation to the resistance fighters, he rushes to imprison them and send the Jews to the concentration camps.

 

The Zookeeper’s Wife was met with mixed reviews. The critics were unhappy with the way the film concentrated more on the emotional aspect of the story than on creating a grand showcase of the events.

 

Although the facts were accurate to a large extent, there were creative liberties in the relationship and its portrayal.

 

It got a rating of 7 on IMDb and 64% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

 

 

49. Sobibor (2018)

 

Sobibor (2018)

 

Sobibor is a Russian film about the revolt and the escape attempt from the Polish extermination camp in Sobibor during 1943.

 

The film was written by Konstantin Khabensky, Aleksandr Adabashyan, Andrei Nazarov, Anna Chernakova and directed by Konstantin Khabensky.

 

A Russian Jewish soldier from the Red Army is captured by the Germans and sent to the extermination camps of Sobibor.

 

They are all due to be sent to the gas chamber, when Pachersky, the Jewish Russian soldier plans and executes the revolt.

 

The Sobibor Revolt was partially successful with the escape of 300 prisoners, but only 60 survived the war.

 

The film was Russia’s official entry for the Best Foreign Film category at the 91st Academy Awards and it received the nomination too.

 

Although there were a few historical inaccuracies, the film did well worldwide. On a budget of $2.4 million, it grossed over $ 5 million across the globe.

 

IMDb gave a rating of 6.4, and Rotten Tomatoes rated the film 75% fresh.

 

 

48. Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (2008)

 

Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (2008)

 

Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, shortened to Blessed is the Match is a documentary film about the life and work of Hannah Szenes or Senesh.

 

The documentary was made based on the entries in her journal and witness accounts from her cellmates, and fellow prisoners.

 

Hannah Senesh was a Jewish-Hungarian poet, playwright. She finished her education in 1939 and witnessed the persecution of Jews in Hungary.

 

She joined the Haganah, which was the precursor to the Israel Defence Force, and trained for the Special Operations Executive.

 

She joined the mission to infiltrate Hungary and rescue the Jews from being sent to the concentration camps in Auschwitz.

 

She was captured in March 1944 by the Hungarian gendarmes and tortured for information on her mission and transmitter codes.

 

She never broke down or divulged any info. After a brief trial for treason, she was sentenced to execution in November 1944.

 

This documentary won the Audience Award at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. It was reviewed by the New York Times for portraying the courage and the missions of Senesh, without giving away much about her character.

 

The film was rated 7 on IMDb and got a 68% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

 

 

47. Fugitive Pieces (2007)

 

Fugitive Pieces (2007)

 

Fugitive Pieces is a Canadian film about a Jewish immigrant who escaped Europe during World War II.

 

The film is based on the book written by Anne Michaels on the life of Jakob Beer.

 

The film was directed by Jeremy Podeswa. The story revolves around the life and journey of Jakob Beer.

 

He was born in Poland to Jewish parents. During the war, they were both shot dead and his sister Bella was taken away.

 

He escaped the ordeal as he was hiding and soon ran away to become an orphan roaming the streets.

 

A Greek archaeologist working in Poland saw him and smuggled him out of the country to Greece.

 

After staying in Greece for a while, both of them immigrated to Canada to start a new life.

 

Although he escaped the concentration camps, Beer was constantly plagued by the memories of his sister Bella.

 

He married and tried to settle down, but could not be happy because of his survivor’s guilt.

 

The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was later screened at film festivals in Vancouver, Greece, Warsaw, and more.

 

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rating of 68%. Critics opined that the film was a moving tale that was too subtle but superbly portrayed.

 

IMDb rated the film a 7.

 

 

46. The Grey Zone (2001)

 

The Grey Zone (2001)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Grey Zone
Year 2001
Watch time 108 min
Directors Tim Blake Nelson
Cast David Arquette, Velizar Binev, David Chandler, Michael Stuhlbarg
Box Office $0.52M
IMDb Rating 7
Metascore 58
Writers Miklos Nyiszli
Music By Russell Lee Fine
Cinematography By Michelle Botticelli Tim Blake Nelson
Costume By Johnny Breedt Tatiana Macdonald

 

The Grey Zone is a Holocaust film based on the book, Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account written by Dr. Miklós Nyiszli.

 

The story is set in the Auschwitz concentration camp where Josef Mengele, often experimented on the prisoner and had the Jewish Sonderkommando clean up after him.

 

The story is about the experiences of Dr. Miklós Nyiszli who worked as an assistant to Mengele.

 

He took up the role to ensure the safety of his wife and daughter. However, after some time, the Sonderkommando formulated a plan to rebel in one of the crematoriums in the death camp.

 

They smuggle in gunpowder from the factory through the women workers in the labor camp.

 

The plan of insurrection is derailed after a child survives the gas chamber and the group agrees to do all they can to protect her.

 

The Sonderkommando do everything they can to successfully carry out the insurrection and burn down one of the crematories.

 

Yet, they are all caught and executed after the job. The film was described by critics as a grim and devastating tale of the Holocaust.

 

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 68% rating and IMDb gave it a 7 rating. The film won the National Board of Reviews award for Freedom of Expression award.

 

 

45. Fateless (2005)

 

Fateless (2005)

 

Entity Detail
Title Fateless
Year 2005
Watch time 140 min
Directors Lajos Koltai
Cast Marcell Nagy, Béla Dóra, Bálint Péntek, Ã_x0081_ron Dimény
Box Office $0.20M
IMDb Rating 6.9
Metascore 87
Writers Imre Kertész
Music By Ennio Morricone
Cinematography By Gyula Pados
Costume By Tibor Lázár

 

Fateless is a Hungarian film (Sorstalanság) that is based on the work of the Nobel Laureate, Imre Kertész.

 

The story is a unique tale about a young Hungarian Jew, who comes of age in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.

 

A young Jewish boy is taken off his bus and sent to the Auschwitz camp to work.

 

There is a come in touch with different groups, nationalities, and personalities in the Jewish faith.

 

While the film starts with the perspective of Jews in general, it slowly starts to narrow down to the identity of a Hungarian Jew and what it means to be one.

 

The film alternates between black and white and sepia tones to indicate the mood of the narrative.

 

We can also see the child who has no clear concept of being a Jew, slowly matures into a man by the time he is rescued.

 

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 94% fresh rating. The film was screened at film festivals in Chicago, Telluride, Toronto, Berlinale, Hungary, and more.

 

It was nominated for the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival. It was also a part of the official selection at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival among others.

 

It was also presented at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Los Angeles Film festival.

 

 

44. Mother Night (1996)

 

Mother Night (1996)

 

Entity Detail
Title Mother Night
Year 1996
Watch time 114 min
Directors Keith Gordon
Cast Nick Nolte, Sheryl Lee, Tony Robinow, Michael McGill
Box Office $0.39M
IMDb Rating 7.1
Metascore ---
Writers Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Music By Michael Convertino
Cinematography By Tom Richmond
Costume By François Séguin

 

Mother Night is a film based on the novel with the same name by Kurt Vonnegut.

 

It is about an American spy who lived and worked in Germany throughout World War II and his role had been kept a secret by the government.

 

The film is narrated through the flashbacks and memories of Howard Campbell as he writes his memoirs from his jail cell in Israel.

 

He worked as a Nazi propagandist during the war and passed on messages to the allied governments through coded messages.

 

After the war, he is relocated to New York with a new identity, but he is captured and put to trial for his role.

 

Although he maintains that he was an American spy, it is up to his government to back him up and blow the cover on a secret operation.

 

The film was met with mixed reviews. Although all critics praised the performance of Nick Nolte as the American spy, the story was panned as being vague.

 

Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a rating of 63%, while IMDb gave it a rating of 7.1.

 

 

43. Defiance (2008)

 

Defiance (2008)

 

Entity Detail
Title Defiance
Year 2008
Watch time 137 min
Directors Edward Zwick
Cast Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos
Box Office $28.64M
IMDb Rating 7.2
Metascore 58
Writers Clayton Frohman
Music By James Newton Howard
Cinematography By Eduardo Serra
Costume By Dan Weil

 

Defiance is a film about the Polish-Jewish Bielski brothers who led the Bielski Partisan during the peak of World War II.

 

The film is based on the account of Nechama Tec in the book Defiance: The Bielski Partisan.

 

The film was criticized for not including the Polish massacre by the Bielski Partisan, although there is no clear evidence of their participation in the massacre.

 

The Bielski brothers, Tuvia, Zus, Asael, and Aron escape into the Naliboki forest in Belarus after their family was killed in the Jewish ghetto by the Nazis.

 

The Bielski partisans initially hid in the forest to be safe from the Nazi persecution, but later, they started to rescue other Jews from the ghettos.

 

They built large camps in the forest that had a hospital, school, and housing for the rescued Jews.

 

They used their military training from the Red Army to protect the Jewish settlement and evade capture.

 

By the end of the war, Tuvia, Zus, and Aron survive, while Asael dies in the battle of Königsberg in 1945.

 

The film was met with mixed reviews by the critics. Although the film was praised for its production quality and story, it was criticized for the lack of artistic value.

 

They said that the film lacked the emotional punch of the actual story. IMDb gave it 7.2 and Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 58% rating.

 

 

42. Amen (2002)

 

Amen (2002)

 

Amen is a World War II film made by Costa-Gavras and it is based on the play Der Stellvertreter by Rolf Hochhuth.

 

The film was about all the early warnings that the world received and chose to ignore, about the condition and persecution of Jews in Germany and the Nazi mandate against Jews.

 

The story is about the Waffen-SS officer, Kurt Gerstein, who formulated a hydrogen cyanide mixture called Zyklon B to purify water and eradicate Typhus.

 

He discovered that his formulation was being used in the Nazi death camps to mass murder Jews.

 

He tried to bring the issue to the attention of the Swiss diplomat, Swiss authorities, and even the Pope.

 

He tried to get through to Pope Pius XII, but he was ignored and discarded.

 

A Jesuit priest took his complaints seriously and tried to stop them to the best of his ability.

 

The film is based on the true-life character of Kurt Gerstein, however, the Jesuit priest was a fictional dramatization.

 

Critics have praised the film as an excellent exemplification of conscience. IMDb gave the film a rating of 7.2.

 

Rotten Tomatoes rated Amen 67%.

 

 

41. Woman in Gold (2015)

 

Woman in Gold (2015)

 

Woman in Gold is a biographical drama about the true story of Maria Altmann. The film was directed by Simon Curtis based on the story written by Alexis Kaye Campbell.

 

The film is a testament to continuing fight for justice despite so many decades since the Holocaust ended.

 

Maria Altmann is an elderly Jewish lady who lives in Los Angeles and fights to have her family heirlooms restored to her.

 

The problem is that the heirlooms happen to be highly prized paintings of Gustav Klimt that were stolen by the Nazis during their invasion of Vienna, Austria.

 

Mrs. Altmann engages the services of the lawyer, Randy Schoenberg, to file a case in the US courts to have the government of Austria held accountable to return the paintings.

 

The paintings were valued at close to $150 million and hence, they were difficult to retrieve from the national museum of Vienna.

 

The film was criticized for its dull treatment of a fascinating story. Although, the acting of Dame Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds was highly praised.

 

IMDb gave it a rating of 7.3 and Rotten Tomatoes rated it 57%.

 

 

40. All My Loved Ones (1999)

 

All My Loved Ones (1999)

 

All My Loved Ones is a Czech language film that was made in collaboration between Cezch, Slovakia, and Poland.

 

The film is about the Cezch Kindertransport before World War II. The film was Slovakia’s official entry to the Best Foreign Film category at the 72nd Academy Awards.

 

The film is told through the experiences of Silberstein's family members. They were the upwardly mobile Jewish family in Czechoslovakia when the Nazis invaded.

 

They ignored the early warnings and did not evacuate in time. Due to this when the Nazis came, they were stuck with no way of escaping.

 

At this time, the British humanitarian, Nicholas Winton, becomes the only hope for the future.

 

They contact him and try to save the children. While the rest of the family perishes in the hands of the Nazis, a boy, rescued by Winton, tells us the sad and uplifting tale of decent and humane acts done by simple people.

 

The film was nominated for several awards and it won the Audience Award at Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

 

At the Czech Lions, the film won the Best Supporting Actor for Jirí Bartoska. IMDb rated the film a 7.3, with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 64%.

 

 

39. Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

 

Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

 

Entity Detail
Title Everything Is Illuminated
Year 2005
Watch time 106 min
Directors Liev Schreiber
Cast Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Lyoskin, Jonathan Safran Foer
Box Office $1.71M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 58
Writers Jonathan Safran Foer
Music By Paul Cantelon
Cinematography By Matthew Libatique
Costume By Mark Geraghty

 

Everything is Illuminated is a biographical account of the journey of Jonathan Safran Foer to find the Ukrainian woman who saved his grandfather.

 

The film is a comedy-drama that was written and directed by Liev Schreiber. It is based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, with the same name.

 

The film follows Foer as he travels to Ukraine to locate the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis.

 

He takes the help of Alex and his grandfather, who are tour guides. Although both of them are fake guides and Alex and his grandfather usually dupe people, they decide to help Foer.

 

In the end, Foer finds the village that his grandfather hails from and sees it is razed to the ground.

 

He also finds out that the woman who helped was killed by the Nazis. Yet, he finds peace after finding the truth and sprinkles the soil from the village on his grandfather’s grave.

 

The film was praised for combining a serious and heartfelt story with comedic elements without trivializing it.

 

IMDb gave it a rating of 7.4 and Rotten Tomatoes, 67%. Liev Schreiber was praised for his directorial debut movie.

 

 

38. The Book Thief (2013)

 

The Book Thief (2013)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Book Thief
Year 2013
Watch time 131 min
Directors Brian Percival
Cast Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer
Box Office $21.49M
IMDb Rating 7.5
Metascore 53
Writers Markus Zusak
Music By John Williams
Cinematography By Florian Ballhaus
Costume By Simon Elliott

 

The Book Thief is a novel written by Markus Zusak. It was adapted into a movie by Brian Percival and stars Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nelisse in prominent roles.

 

The film is about a young girl adopted into a German family during World War II.

 

She is taught how to read by her kind-hearted stepfather and she soon becomes addicted to reading.

 

She discovers that her family is sheltering a young Jew, Max from the Nazi soldiers.

 

The family faces difficulties hiding their identity as a Jew sympathizer and staying alive. The only thing that keeps the girl sane is her love for reading.

 

Eventually, the family has torn apart when the village is accidentally bombed and all the friends that she has have died except for the Mayor’s wife.

 

The film’s music was highly praised as John Williams received a nomination for Best Original score from The Oscars and the BAFTAs, apart from nominations at the Saturn Awards, Golden Globes, and more.

 

The film was criticized for being too safe and timid in its portrayal of Nazi Germany.

 

 

37. Bent (1997)

 

Bent (1997)

 

Bent is a British-Japanese movie, based on a play with the same name, written by Martin Sherman.

 

The plot of the movie revolves around the persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany. The story starts in 1934, where a promiscuous gay man, Max, from a wealthy German family and his boyfriend, Rudy, run into trouble when they witness the death of a member of the SA, on the Night of Long Knives.

 

They try to flee Germany but are caught and put on a train to be sent to Dachau.

 

On the way there, the boyfriend is brutally beaten to death in front of Max, yet he hides his identity in fear of facing the same fate.

 

In the Dachau camp, he meets and falls in love with another gay man who teaches him to be true to himself and find dignity in his identity.

 

The film got an IMDb rating of 7.2 and a Rotten Tomatoes score of 73%.

 

It also won the Award of the Youth at the Cannes Film Festival and the Best Feature Film at the Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

 

 

36. The Ninth Day (2004)

 

The Ninth Day (2004)

 

The Ninth Day is a German historical drama that is based on the extracts from the Pfarrerblock 25487, a diary maintained by father Jean-Bernard.

 

The film was released by Kino International. The story is about a catholic priest, Henri Kramer, who was imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp along with many other Catholic priests.

 

He witnessed, on a daily basis, the tortures and even the crucifixion of his fellow priests.

 

He is tortured by this. One day, he is released from the camp for nine days with specific orders to convince a bishop from his hometown.

 

If he fails to do the job, he will be sent back to the camp.

 

He is faced with a dilemma of whether to betray his faith or to face torture in the camp.

 

Rotten Tomatoes scored the film 77% fresh and IMDb gave it a 7.1. The film was nominated for 13 awards out of which it won six awards, including the film award in Gold at German Film Awards, audience Award and Crystal Simorgh award at Fajr Film Festival, and more.

 

 

35. Killing Kasztner (2008)

 

Killing Kasztner (2008)

 

Killing Kasztner is a documentary film on the life and controversy surrounding Rudolf Kasztner. The feature-length documentary was made by Gaylen Ross after an interview with a Jewish woman that Kasztner had saved.

 

The film starts in the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City for the first conference on Kasztner, and the open disagreement between the survivors of Kasztner and those who blame him.

 

This leads to the interviews with Kasztner's daughters and granddaughters who felt it was time to release their family from this ignominy.

 

The filmmaker, Ross, also interviewed the assassin, Eckstein, who shot him and the son of the lawyer who prosecuted Kasztner.

 

The documentary brought forward the survivor accounts from many of those saved by Kasztner and presented a different perspective on his case.

 

The film won the audience award at the Boston Jewish Film Festival. IMDb rated the film 7.2, while Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 79% fresh score.

 

 

34. Constantine's Sword (2007)

 

Constantine's Sword (2007)

 

Constantine’s Sword is a documentary based on James Carroll's book with the same name. It is a study into the relationship between the Catholic Church and Jews.

 

The documentary film was produced and directed by Oren Jacoby, who previously won an Academy Award.

 

The documentary focuses on religious wars and their beginnings in Christianity. James Carroll is a catholic priest who is the son of an air force general.

 

He uses his unique position to view the unholy alliance between religion and war. The film’s poster declares at the start that 'No War is Holy’ and in accordance with this concept, he studies the long history of xenophobia in Christianity from the start of crusades, Roman inquisition till the anti-judaism stand that was displayed.

 

The film got a rating of 7.1 on IMDb and a score of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.

 

The film has been described as a poignant and passionately presented depiction of church-sanctioned crimes against Jews, by the website spirituality and practice.

 

 

33. In Darkness (2011)

 

In Darkness (2011)

 

In Darkness is a Polish world war II  drama of the sewage inspector Leopold Socha and his co-worker Szczepek Wróblewski.

 

The film depicts the true story as written by David F. Shamoon and directed by Agnieszka Holland.

 

In 1943, in the Polish city of Lwow, the Nazis decided to liquidate the ghetto.

 

A group of Jews escaped from there and hid in the sewer system of the city.

 

Leopold Socha used his knowledge of the sewer system and kept them hidden for close to 18 months till the Russians took over the city in 1944.

 

He along with his co-worker Wróblewski, sheltered and protected the Jews. After the war ended, both of the Polish men were awarded the medal of Righteous Among the Nations for their act of humanity.

 

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in the 84th Academy awards.

 

Rotten Tomatoes scored 88% and IMDb scored 7.3. Critics praised the film for being a harrowing nail-biter of a film.

 

They said that it satisfied the intensity of performance and artful depiction of life in the city street and the sewers.

 

 

32. The Diary Of Anne Frank (1959)

 

The Diary Of Anne Frank (1959)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Diary of Anne Frank
Year 1959
Watch time 180 min
Directors George Stevens
Cast Millie Perkins, Shelley Winters, Joseph Schildkraut, Richard Beymer
Box Office $5.01M
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore 59
Writers Frances Goodrich
Music By Alfred Newman
Cinematography By William C. Mellor
Costume By George W. Davis Lyle R. Wheeler

 

The Diary of Anne Frank is a biographical account of Anne Frank during the last few months that were spent hiding from the Germans.

 

Her Diary was published by her father, Otto Frank, and turned into a play and later a movie.

 

The film was directed by George Stevens. The film starts in 1945 with Otto Frank getting off a truck in front of an abandoned factory.

 

He rushes into the factory to find the glove of a young girl that he picks up and starts crying.

 

He later finds the diary of his daughter Anne and reads through it. In the diary, Anne gives an account of how she spent her days in hiding above the factory.

 

She and her family along with another were given shelter by Kraler and his assistant Miep Gies.

 

Despite all their efforts, the Jews were discovered in 1944 and taken away by the Nazis to be executed.

 

This film, made in 1959 is considered the best adaptation of the life of Anne Frank.

 

It won three Academy Awards in 1960, including Best Supporting Actress. Critics highly praised the film for its fine acting and direction.

 

The film was rated 79% fresh and IMDb gave it a score of 7.4.

 

 

31. The Painted Bird (2019)

 

The Painted Bird (2019)

 

The Painted Bird is a Czech film that was the official entry to the 92nd Academy Awards.

 

It also made it to the December shortlist. The film is an adaptation of Jerzy Kosiński's novel of the same name.

 

It was made in the Interslavic language so that no nationality could be offended by the story.

 

The film follows the tragic life of an orphaned Jewish boy as he drifts from one bad situation to another.

 

Sometimes he receives kindness, sometimes sympathy, but the violence, hatred, and depravity that he encounters take a toll on him.

 

Although the kid is not sent to a concentration camp, he faces all those horrors in the hands of the village folk that targets him.

 

He faces anti-Semitic hate, anger, jealousy, and depravity all through his journey. The film was criticized for being too violent and gory as audiences were not able to sit through the film in Venice, Toronto, and London film festivals.

 

It, however, received a long ovation at the Warsaw film festival.

 

 

30. Sarah’s Key (2010)

 

Sarah’s Key (2010)

 

Sarah’s Key is an adaptation of the novel, by Tatiana De Rosnay, with the same name.

 

This French movie focuses on the events that result from the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup of Jews in German-occupied Paris.

 

The film is co-written and directed by Giles Paquet-Brenner. The story revolves around Julia, a journalist who is researching the story of a young Jewish girl, Sarah Starzynski.

 

In the flashback, we are shown that in 1942, a 10-year-old Sarah was being taken away by the Paris Gendarmes for being a Jew.

 

Before she leaves, she locks her brother in a hidden closet to keep him safe.

 

By the time she escapes the Nazi soldiers and the Vichy bureaucrats, she is to plate to save her brother.

 

Although, the elderly couple who save her take her into their family. After the war, Sarah is still haunted by her experiences during the war and hides her identity from even her son until she dies.

 

The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was later released in France. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a score of 72% and IMDb, 7.5.

 

 

29. Sunshine (1999)

 

Sunshine (1999)

 

Entity Detail
Title Sunshine
Year 1999
Watch time 181 min
Directors István Szabó
Cast Ralph Fiennes, Rosemary Harris, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Ehle
Box Office $5.10M
IMDb Rating 7.5
Metascore 71
Writers István Szabó
Music By Maurice Jarre
Cinematography By Lajos Koltai
Costume By Attila Kovács

 

Sunshine is a movie about a Hungarian-Jewish family of Sonnenschein. This historical drama was directed by Istvan Szabo and written by Israel Horovitz.

 

The film focuses on three generations of Sonnenschein, who later change their last name to Sors.

 

It chronicles the different ways in which the family is discriminated against for being Jews and eventually, they end up renouncing their faith, and yet they are sent to the concentration camps because of their ancestry.

 

Sonnenschein is German for Sunshine, as the title of the movie indicates. They later changed it to a Hungarian name of Sors, which means Fate.

 

In the movie, all three generations of lead males (Ignatz, Adam, and Ivan) are played by Ralph Fiennes.

 

Sunshine was rated 7.5 on IMDb and 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. It won three European Film Awards, including Best Actor for Fiennes.

 

At the Canadian Genie Awards, it won three awards, including Best Motion Picture.

 

 

28. The Reader (2008)

 

The Reader (2008)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Reader
Year 2008
Watch time 124 min
Directors Stephen Daldry
Cast Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, Jeanette Hain
Box Office $34.19M
IMDb Rating 7.6
Metascore 58
Writers David Hare
Music By Nico Muhly
Cinematography By Roger Deakins
Costume By Brigitte Broch

 

The Reader is a drama based on the German novel with the same name, written by Bernhard Schlink.

 

It was adapted into a motion picture by Stephen Daldry with a script from David Hare.

 

The film was received with mixed reviews by critics and won many accolades for performances.

 

The story is about a German guard of a concentration camp who is being prosecuted for her role in the war.

 

Coincidentally, one of the law students who come to attend the trial is acquainted with the prime accused.

 

They had an affair before the lady took up a new job and disappeared from his life.

 

As he gets over his shock and investigates the case, he realizes that although she was a guard at the prison, she did not arrange for the burning down of the church that she is being accused of.

 

The main evidence to this matter is that she is illiterate and hence unaware that she was being framed to sign the confession.

 

The film received mixed reviews with one critic saying that despite the great acting by Kate Winslet, the film was emotionally distant.

 

Other critics praised the movie as being a brilliantly directed adaptation of the novel with a subtle and nuanced depiction.

 

 

27. Train of Life (1998)

 

Train of Life (1998)

 

Train of Life is a French movie that was made as a collaboration between France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, and Romania.

 

The film is a tragicomedy of a village that tries to escape the Holocaust of Jews The film starts with a man frantically running into his village to report the atrocities done against jews in the nearby village.

 

He gathers the villagers and they plan to escape by building a train. They plan to ride it to the USSR and escape from there.

 

The film comedically recounts their difficulties in escaping, but they appear to have succeeded. Yet in the last scene, we discover that the narrator is imprisoned in a concentration camp and has seemingly lost his mind after witnessing the death of his fellow villagers.

 

The film was rated 64% fresh by Rotten Tomatoes and got an IMDb score of 7.7.

 

The critics gave it a generally positive review, however, the story is similar in concept to a few other Holocaust movies released that year.

 

They were all built on the same premise of making comedy out of a tragic situation.

 

 

26. Son Of Saul (2015)

 

Son Of Saul (2015)

 

Son Of Saul or 'Saul fia' is a Hungarian film that is set in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

 

The film is directed by Laszlo Nemes and written by Nemes and Clara Royer. The film was the ninth Hungarian film to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.

 

The story is about Saul Ausländer, who is a Sonderkommando in the Auschwitz camp. While cleaning the gas chamber, one day he finds the body of a boy and inexplicably he has the urge to give the boy a proper Jewish burial.

 

He even lies to his other Sonderkommandos that the boy is his illegitimate son. Despite all his efforts to give him a proper burial, he is unsuccessful.

 

Moreover, he is also embroiled in a failed rebellion in the camp. He almost escapes into the forest to join the Polish Resistance, when the SS guards locate him and shoot them down.

 

The film is the second Hungarian film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

 

It also won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. Rotten Tomatoes rated it 96%, while IMDB rated it 7.5.

 

The Guardian described the movie as a horror film with extraordinary focus and courage. They gave it a 5-star rating.

 

 

25. The Counterfeiters (2007)

 

The Counterfeiters (2007)

 

The Counterfeiters is an Austrian-German film that is based on Operation Bernhard that the Nazis conducted to destabilize the Allied Forces.

 

The film is a fictionalized account of the events as recounted in his memoir by Adolf Burger.

 

The film is set in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp where a set of Jewish forgers and typographers are assigned the job to counterfeit the British Pound and the US Dollar notes.

 

After having experienced the struggles and dangers of regular internment in the concentration camp, these forgers are enticed with small luxuries like decent bunk beds, sufficient rations, or working toilets, to begin the forgery.

 

While the forgers continue to face brutality and hate from the SS Guards, they are aware and concerned about the state of their fellow prisoners and German war efforts.

 

In the end, the mission is abandoned when the Red Army reaches the Sachsenhausen camp.

 

The film won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film along with an award for actor in supporting role at the German Film Awards.

 

The film was also nominated for a Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

 

Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 93% and IMDb rated it a 7.6.

 

 

24. The Pawnbroker (1964)

 

The Pawnbroker (1964)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Pawnbroker
Year 1964
Watch time 116 min
Directors Sidney Lumet
Cast Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters, Jaime Sánchez
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7.7
Metascore 69
Writers Morton S. Fine
Music By Quincy Jones
Cinematography By Boris Kaufman
Costume By Richard Sylbert

 

The Pawnbroker is an American film about the after-effects of the Holocaust. It is the first movie on this subject to be filmed entirely in the United States.

 

The film is based on the novel with the same name by Edward Lewis Wallant.

 

It is directed by Sidney Lumet and created a controversy when it included a scene of nudity with the first-ever production code approval.

 

The story of the film revolves around a Holocaust survivor, Sol Nazerman. He was a German-Jewish professor, whose wife and children were executed by the Nazis during the war.

 

After the war, Nazerman migrated to America and remarried a fellow survivor, but he became emotionally muted by his experiences.

 

In Long Island, he runs a pawnshop and employs young Ortiz as his assistant. Although Ortiz idolizes Nazerman, he keeps himself emotionally aloof because of his past.

 

Things come to a turn when his pawnshop is vandalized and Ortiz is shot trying to save him.

 

This reignites his sorrow and makes him cry after many years. The film was highly praised and inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

 

It won widespread critical acclaim for Rob Steiger’s acting. The film was described as a remarkable picture that was a dark and haunting drama.

 

It was rated 84% fresh with a 7.7 IMDb score.

 

 

23. Divided We Fall (2000)

 

Divided We Fall (2000)

 

Divided We Fall is a Czech war movie that was directed by Jan Hřebejk. The name of the film in Czech, literally, translates to We Must Help Each Other.

 

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. The story is about the family of Cizeks.

 

The husband, Josef, hates the Nazis. He shelters David, who has escaped from a nearby concentration camp.

 

While his wife, Maria is caring and loving to the Jewish kids, she is against her husband’s behavior.

 

She wants him to become a Nazi Collaborator so that they can have safety and security.

 

Josef’s friend, Horst, is a collaborator and vouches for Josef’s family as Nazi collaborators. However, he often comes to their home and sees young David staying with them.

 

After the war ends and the Czech resistance army threatens to kill them, David vouches for them as Jewish supporters and saves them.

 

Divided We Fall was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. Anna Siskova, who played Mrs. Cizek won the Lion Award for her role.

 

The film was also appreciated for skillfully balancing a sensitive topic of Nazis, the Holocaust, and war with humor.

 

Rotten Tomatoes rated the film, 90% fresh.

 

 

22. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

 

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Year 2008
Watch time 94 min
Directors Mark Herman
Cast Asa Butterfield, David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, Zac Mattoon O'Brien
Box Office $9.03M
IMDb Rating 7.8
Metascore 55
Writers John Boyne
Music By James Horner
Cinematography By Benoît Delhomme
Costume By Martin Childs

 

The Boy in the Striped Pyjama is a British holocaust movie that is based on a novel with the same name, written by John Boyne.

 

The film is a tragedy about a pair of eight-year-olds who experience life in the Nazi concentration camp.

 

The film starts with the young German boy Bruno who moves with his family to a home near the concentration camp.

 

Despite the constant Nazi propaganda, he does not hold any animosity towards Jews. Out of sheer boredom, he searches for friends to play with and finds young Schmuel, who is a Jew.

 

Both boys form a deep friendship and play every day. Despite evidence to prove otherwise, both boys believe in their friendship.

 

When Schmuel’s father goes “missing” in the concentration camp, Bruno offers to help search for him.

 

They accidentally end up in the gas chamber. The film was praised for being a touching and haunting tale that has a twisted punch in the end.

 

At the same time, some critics felt that the topic of the Holocaust was commercially exploited to present a glossed-over image of the tragedy.

 

Rotten Tomatoes rated the movie 64% and IMDb rated it 7.7.

 

 

21. Nicky’s Family (2011)

 

Nicky’s Family (2011)

 

Nicky’s Family is a docudrama about Czechoslovakia’s Kindertransport. It is based on the works of the British humanitarian and banker, Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children from Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Nazi invasion.

 

The docudrama talks about the process, and the story behind this amazing journey of a British socialist who was called to Prague to help a friend rescue Jewish kids.

 

He, along with a few other rescue workers from Canada and Britain, immediately arranged for all necessary documents to have the kids deported to Britain.

 

Later, he and his mother worked to have all the kids adopted and placed into loving families.

 

The show includes a dramatized depiction of the process and witness accounts. Nick’s Family got a rating of 64% on Rotten Tomatoes.

 

IMDb rated the docudrama, 8.

 

 

20. Europa Europa (1990)

 

Europa Europa (1990)

 

Europa Europa is a German movie, based on the autobiographical account of Solomon Perel. It is directed by Agnieszka Holland with an international co-production team.

 

The story is about Solomon Perel, a German-Jewish youth. On the day of his bar-mitzvah, the Kristallnacht occurs, and his family returns to Poland to escape persecution.

 

However, the Nazis overrun Poland, and his family is sent to the Jewish ghetto. He and his brother, Izaac are separated from the family, and they escape to the USSR.

 

By a quirk of fate, Solomon is believed to be Josef Peters, a Catholic child.

 

Every time the Nazis come close to discovering his true identity, he narrowly escapes. He is enrolled in the Nazi army and sent to attack the Soviets.

 

Here he surrenders to the Red Army and declares that he is a Jew. The film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards but lost out.

 

It had been expected to win in the best foreign film category, but Germany did not submit the entry.

 

However, it won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.

 

 

19. Black Book (2006)

 

Black Book (2006)

 

Black Book is a Dutch war-thriller and it is credited to have been based on true stories about a Jewish spy in the Nazi base in the Netherlands.

 

The film was directed by Paul Verhoeven and it is credited to have been one of the costliest Dutch films of that time.

 

It was also the highest-grossing film of that year. A Dutch-Jewish singer, Rachel Stein, and her family are cornered by the SS troops while escaping, and her family is brutally killed and looted.

 

This encourages her to join the Dutch resistance under an alias. She uses her new identity to infiltrate the SS headquarters in the Netherlands and relay information to the resistance army.

 

However, despite all their efforts, they are still betrayed each time they take any action.

 

After a lot of trials and sacrifices, they identify the real traitor in the resistance army.

 

The film won multiple awards, including a BAFTA for Best non-English film and three Golden Calves at the Netherlands Film Festival in 2006.

 

Rotten Tomatoes rated the film 76%, and IMDb gave it a score of 7.7.

 

 

18. Sophie’s Choice (1982)

 

Sophie’s Choice (1982)

 

Entity Detail
Title Sophie's Choice
Year 1982
Watch time 150 min
Directors Alan J. Pakula
Cast Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, Rita Karin
Box Office $30.04M
IMDb Rating 7.6
Metascore 68
Writers William Styron
Music By Marvin Hamlisch
Cinematography By Néstor Almendros
Costume By George Jenkins

 

Sophie’s Choice is an American film based on a novel with the same name, written by William Styron.

 

It was directed by Alan Pakula and stars Meryl Streep as a Polish immigrant with a dark past.

 

The film starts with Stingo moving to Brooklyn to write a novel. He meets a volatile couple, Nathan and Sophie.

 

While Nathan is jealous, impatient, and very suspicious of Sophie, Sophie tolerates all his abuse and stays with him.

 

As Stingo gets to know Sophie better, he finds out about her tragic past, and also the truth about Nathan’s behavior.

 

Sophie carries a lot of guilt and mental trauma from her past. In the end, she and Nathan commit suicide.

 

The film opened to general critical praise and grossed $ 30 million at the box office.

 

It received five nominations at the Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best cinematography.

 

Meryl Streep won a Best Actress Oscar for her role.

 

 

17. The Last Days (1998)

 

The Last Days (1998)

 

The Last Days is a documentary about the last days of the holocaust or Shoah.

 

The documentary was produced by June Beallor and Kenneth Lipper along with the Shoah Foundation.

 

The film follows the life, tragedy, and optimism of the survivor in the final year of imprisonment in the camps.

 

They show archival footage, photographs, survivor accounts, and even witness accounts of life in those harrowing days.

 

We can hear from people like Tom Lantos, Dario Gabbai, Randolph Braham, and more. We hear from Holocaust survivors, US GIs who liberated the Dachau concentration camp, US Army veterans, and even former SS Doctor Hans Munch.

 

The film won an Academy Award for the Best Documentary. It was digitally remastered and made available online by Netflix in 2021.

 

The film has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 92% and an IMDb score of 7.8.

 

 

16. The Roundup (2010)

 

The Roundup (2010)

 

The Roundup is a French film that was made by Rosalyne Bosch. It is based on a true story about a young Jewish boy from Paris during the events of Vel’ d’Hiv.

 

The story has many true characters and real people with minor changes in the story.

 

The film starts with the events of Vel’ d’Hiv when all the Jews in Paris were rounded up by the Vichy government that was secret Nazi Supporters.

 

We see different Jewish families that are separated and sent to extermination camps. Initially, the children were kept alive and treated with minimum food and medicines, but later, even they were killed at the extermination camps.

 

The film highlights the efforts made by ordinary people who tried to protect, help, and rescue the Jews by doing the right thing.

 

The film was described by critics as a courageous film that tells a very emotional story.

 

Another critic praised the director for highlighting the efforts of all the ordinary people, and not just the lonesome characters like in Schindler’s list, etc.

 

 

15. Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000)

 

Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000)

 

Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport is a British documentary about the extraordinary effort made during the Kindertransport from various countries.

 

The documentary is made by Mark Jonathan Harris and produced by Deborah Oppenheimer. We can see the humanitarian effort made by the British rescue workers during the Kindertransport to save children from Nazi hit countries like Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.

 

Up to 10000 children were rescued and allocated to foster homes through this mission. We hear and watch rare and extensive footage, photographs, and artifacts, from different sources like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

 

We are told about their tale, in the words of the child survivors, rescuers, parents, and foster parents too.

 

The documentary was narrated in the voice of Dame Judi Dench, and it was awarded an  Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

 

It was also inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

 

 

14. The Seventh Cross (1944)

 

The Seventh Cross (1944)

 

Entity Detail
Title The Seventh Cross
Year 1944
Watch time 112 min
Directors Fred Zinnemann
Cast Spencer Tracy, Signe Hasso, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 7.4
Metascore ---
Writers Helen Deutsch
Music By Roy Webb
Cinematography By Karl Freund
Costume By Cedric Gibbons Leonid Vasian

 

The Seventh Cross is a film based on a novel with the same name, written by Anna Seghers, who was herself a Jewish escapee during the war.

 

The film was one of the few movies made about the Nazi Concentration camps while the war was still going on.

 

The film follows seven escapees from a fictional concentration camp. As each escapee is caught, he is put up on a cross as a warning to everyone.

 

Heisler is the only escapee who survives, but he has lost all faith and hope of humanity among the people.

 

He is betrayed by the one he loves. However, Heisler’s friend risks his wife and children to help him as best as he can.

 

He protects him and guides him to the German resistance army who is helping him get safe passage out of there.

 

Along the way, many kind-hearted Germans do little things to hide him from danger until he gets away.

 

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in Supporting role for Hume Cronyn.

 

The film was rated 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. IMDb also gave it a strong score of 7.4.

 

 

13. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

 

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

 

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is an Italian film made by Vittorio De Sica. It is a semi-autobiographical tale of the Italian Jewish author Giorgio Bassani.

 

It is a tragic tale of a group of young Italian Jews who perished in the face of the Fascist Italian government.

 

The film follows the idyllic days spent by a group of young Jewish youth in Ferrano Italy in the 1930s.

 

They were unaware of the political turmoil that was sweeping Europe. They spent their days playing tennis in the garden of the Finzi-Continis, who was a wealthy Jewish family.

 

The film won the Golden Bear at the  Berlin International Film Festival. It launched the career of quite a few talented Italian actors and actresses.

 

The film also won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

 

 

12. The Ritchie Boys (2004)

 

The Ritchie Boys (2004)

 

The Ritchie Boys is a war documentary about a secret team of Jewish men who were a part of the US military intelligence unit that has been credited to the early fall of the SS troops.

 

The documentary was made by Christian Bauer with Michael Hanrahan as the narrator. In this documentary, we see this elite unit of German-Jewish men who formed plans to break the morale, and eventually weaken the SS troops during WWII.

 

They mainly consisted of refugees, Jewish children who grew up as orphans in the US, people who could speak the language of the SS troops like German, French, Italian, Polish, etc.

 

We hear from people like Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich, Victor Brombert, Werner Angress, Phillip Glaessner and more.

 

These Ritchie boys were trained in US intelligence and counterintelligence missions as well as planning, interrogation, psychological warfare, and more.

 

This documentary received a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. IMDb rated the film 7.5.

 

This well-researched film took seven years to completely research and compile and three years to gather the funds to make it.

 

 

11. Conspiracy (2001)

 

Conspiracy (2001)

 

Conspiracy is a made for TV movie. It is a British-American production made by Frank Pierson and written by Loring Mendel.

 

The film is a chilling account of the Wannsee conference that was held in 1942 where the “final solution to the Jewish question” is discussed by the top management of the SS, and the Nazi party.

 

The film starts with Reinhard Herdrich,  Heinrich Himmler's right-hand man in the SS, kicking off the meeting stating the purpose of the meeting.

 

Although many of the attendees are irritated to discuss the same issue again, they agree that simply sending them off to ghettos, and sterilizing them is not the solution.

 

However, it soon becomes clear that the SS people have already decided on the plan of action, and the Wannsee conference is just an open declaration of it.

 

Adolf Eichmann makes it further clear by stating that he has already tried the gas chamber in mobile trucks, and it had worked.

 

They plan to build permanent gas chambers in Auschwitz that can handle mass exterminations. The casual and clinical manner of their discussions and plan of action is chilling to watch.

 

The film had an ensemble cast with  Colin Firth, David Threlfall, Kenneth Branagh, and Stanley Tucci, etc.

 

For the movies, Branagh won an Emmy Award for Best Actor, and Tucci won a Golden Globe for his supporting role.

 

 

10. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

 

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

 

Entity Detail
Title Inglourious Basterds
Year 2009
Watch time 153 min
Directors Quentin Tarantino
Cast Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent
Box Office $120.54M
IMDb Rating 8.3
Metascore 69
Writers Quentin Tarantino
Music By Robert Richardson
Cinematography By Sally Menke
Costume By Sandy Reynolds-Wasco

 

Inglourious Basterds is a war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The story was under construction since 1998, but Tarantino was not satisfied with the ending.

 

He wanted to work on it more. The film offers an alternative history where the assassination attempts on Hitler and his team succeeded.

 

There are two separate teams that are working on a plan to assassinate Hitler. One is a plan of a Jewish cinema proprietor, Shosannah Dreyfus.

 

The other is a plan of the  British intelligence team. The British plans are taken over by a band of American Jewish soldiers who form a commando unit, and take vigilante action on Nazis that they catch.

 

The team runs into trouble when they encounter SS officer Hans Landa. The film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and more at the Academy Awards.

 

It won the Oscar for Best Actor in Supporting role for Christoph Waltz as SS officer Landa.

 

The film was rated 89% on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb gave it an 8.3 rating.

 

 

9. Downfall (2004)

 

Downfall (2004)

 

Downfall is a German historical war drama about the last days of Hitler and his core team that are hiding in a Fuhrerbunker.

 

The story is based on the books,  Inside Hitler's Bunker by historian Joachim Fest, and Until the Final Hour by Traudl Junge.

 

The film dramatizes the last 10 days of the Battle of Berlin. The Soviet troops are closing in on Berlin, and the main leaders in the Nazi party and the army have either fallen or defected.

 

We follow the events from Hitler’s 56th birthday, on 20th of April till 30th April of 1945, when he committed suicide.

 

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign language film. It was also nominated for 34 other awards, out of which it won 22 awards.

 

Critics gave favorable reviews for the film saying that it gave an illuminating, thoughtful and detailed account of the last days of Hitler.

 

The film was rated 90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It grossed over $93 million worldwide.

 

Although it faced its fair share of controversy. Many people felt that the film unnecessarily created a human side of Hitler to create sympathy for him.

 

 

8. Au revoir les enfants (1987)

 

Au revoir les enfants (1987)

 

Au revoir les enfants is a tragic French film about the effects of the war and the Holocaust on children in a boarding school.

 

The film was written, directed, and produced by Louis Malle. The story is loosely based on the experiences of the director, who studied in a Roman Catholic school.

 

The film starts with the opening of the school year in a boarding school. The headmaster comes with three new students who appear different; it is later established that they were Jewish.

 

The kind-hearted headmaster gives shelter to Jews in the school. A school chef betrays the headmaster and informs the Gestapo about their presence.

 

Soon they arrive and the Headmaster of his school along with the three children are taken away.

 

They are sent to concentration camps in Auschwitz and Mauthausen, where they eventually die. The Headmaster, Père Jacques, was later conferred the title of Righteous Among Men by Yad Vashem, the Israeli official memorial for victims of the Holocaust.

 

The film won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. It was nominated for many more awards including the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

 

 

7. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

 

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

 

Entity Detail
Title Judgment at Nuremberg
Year 1961
Watch time 179 min
Directors Stanley Kramer
Cast Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich
Box Office ---
IMDb Rating 8.2
Metascore 60
Writers Abby Mann
Music By Ernest Gold
Cinematography By Ernest Laszlo
Costume By Rudolph Sternad

 

Judgment at Nuremberg is an American drama about the trial of the Nuremberg Military Tribunals that was conducted based on the crimes against humanity by the German-Nazi officials.

 

The film was directed and produced by Stanley Kramer. The film showcases one of the 12 cases that were brought before the Nuremberg Tribunal to be conducted by the US Military.

 

The case is presided over by the Chief Trial Judge Dan Haywood, and the accused are four German judges and prosecutors.

 

They are accused of crimes against humanity and atrocities committed by the Nazis on the civilian population.

 

The story deals with the Holocaust and the war crimes of the Nazis. The film boasted a stellar cast of Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, and more.

 

The film was nominated for multiple Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actors, Best Director, Best supporting actor and actress, etc.

 

It won the award for Maximilian Schell for Best Actor and Abby Mann for Best Screenplay original.

 

 

6. The Shop on Main Street (1965)

 

The Shop on Main Street (1965)

 

The Shop on Main Street is a Czech/Slovak film about the anti-Semitic policies of the Fascist government in the Slovak state.

 

The film was funded in part by the Czechoslovakian central authorities and directed by Ján Kadár, and Elmar Klos.

 

The film is about an Aryanization policy of the government in Czechoslovakia. As part of this policy, the local fascist authorities in the town, place non-Jews as overseers of all establishments owned by Jews.

 

So, a mild-mannered local carpenter, Anton Brtko, is chosen to take over a sewing notions shop.

 

It was owned by an elderly Jewish widow, Rozália Lautmannová. What starts as a simple Aryanization effort takes a more sinister turn as the authorities round up all the local Jews to be transported.

 

Since Brtko is aware of what is happening, he is conflicted about whether to send out the Jewish woman or to protect her.

 

In 1965, the film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also entered at the Cannes Film Festival.

 

Rotten Tomatoes rated the movie 100% fresh and IMDb gave it a score of 8.3.

 

 

5. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

 

Life Is Beautiful (1997)

 

Life is Beautiful is a tragi-comic film about an Italian family of Jews who is caught and sent to a concentration camp.

 

The film was directed by and stars Roberto Begnini who also co-wrote it along with Vincenzo Cerami.

 

The film is partly inspired by the experiences of Begnini’s father who was sent to a camp.

 

The story is about a family of Italian Jews, who own a small bookstore in the city of Arrezzo.

 

The Orefice family is made up of Guido, his wife Dora, and his son, Giosue.

 

When the Nazi Germans reach Italy, all the Jews in the city are rounded up and sent to concentration camps.

 

Guido uses his fertile imagination and storytelling skills to maintain his son’s innocence and keep him safe from the tragedies of the war.

 

He creates a game to distract his son from the disappearance of his mother. He maintains the game till the end until they are rescued by the Allied forces.

 

The film won multiple awards, including the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival, Nastro D’Argento Awards, three Academy Awards, two European Film Awards, and more.

 

Rotten Tomatoes rated it an 80% and IMDb gave it 8.6.

 

 

4. The Pianist (2002)

 

The Pianist (2002)

 

The Pianist is a biographical film of a Holocaust survivor. It is based on the autobiography of Wladyslaw Szpilman, the music composer, and pianist.

 

The film was directed by Roman Polanski on a screenplay written by Ronald Harwood. A Polish Jewish musician, Wladyslaw Spzilman, is devastated as Poland is invaded by the Nazis, and systematically, all the Jews and people who help Jews are either killed or sent to camps.

 

He struggles to get by in the shelter provided by his friends. Soon he is chased away from there too, with declining food rations and suffering jaundice.

 

Luckily a sympathetic Nazi officer finds him and offers him refuge in his house. With regular food, his health improves.

 

Soon Poland is liberated by the Soviets and he is saved. They won multiple awards, including the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, three Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay.

 

Critics heaped praise on Polanski’s direction and the screenplay by Harwood. Adrien Brody received his first Oscar for this role.

 

 

3. Night and Fog (1956)

 

Night and Fog (1956)

 

The film is a French short documentary about the Nazi concentration camps. It was made by Alain Resnais with a script written by Jean Cayrol.

 

The film was made ten years after the Holocaust ended, liberating the Jews. The title is taken from a German program, Nacht und Nebel, which was about abductions and disappearances that were sanctioned by Nazi Germans.

 

The film was shot in Auschwitz and Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp with alternating shots of the present-day camp, and stock images of when the camp was in use.

 

Michel Bouquet narrated the rise of Nazi ideology. Some of the images were very disturbing and gruesome.

 

The French authorities tried to block the release of the film as some images depicted the excesses of the Vichy government in eliminating the Jews.

 

Yet the film was released at the Cannes Film Festival and won widespread acclaim.

 

 

2. Schindler’s List (1993)

 

Schindler’s List (1993)

 

Entity Detail
Title Schindler's List
Year 1993
Watch time 195 min
Directors Steven Spielberg
Cast Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley, Caroline Goodall
Box Office $96.90M
IMDb Rating 8.9
Metascore 94
Writers Thomas Keneally
Music By John Williams
Cinematography By Janusz Kaminski
Costume By Allan Starski

 

Schindler’s List is a Spielberg film about the true story of Oskar Schindler. The script was written by Steven Zaillian based on the novel Schindler’s Ark written by Thomas Keneally.

 

This film is often listed among the greatest films ever made. The story follows the work of Oskar Schindler in sheltering and giving jobs to Jews during WWII.

 

These Jews were rescued from the concentration camp and set up to work in his factory with better living conditions.

 

Later, he escaped from the Red Army as he was known to be a war profiteer.

 

Although he saved 850 Jews from being sent to Auschwitz, he still escaped to the West to evade becoming a prisoner of War.

 

The film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven of them, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and more.

 

It was also won other awards like seven BAFTAs, three Golden Globes, and more.

 

 

1. Shoah (1985)

 

Shoah (1985)

 

Shoah is a French documentary that is nine hours long and took eleven years to make.

 

The name Shoah is the Hebrew word for Holocaust. It was made by the French man Claude Lanzmann.

 

Shoah presents interviews of survivors, witnesses, and even the perpetrators of the Holocaust. It was filmed across different extermination camps and holocaust sites in Poland and Germany.

 

The film primarily concentrates on four sites, the Chelmno extermination camp outside of Lodz, where mobile gas chambers were used for the first time to kill Jews.

 

The other three sites are the Treblinka camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, and the Warsaw ghetto. At each of the sites, the survivors and witnesses give extensive accounts of their experiences.

 

The film was awarded several prominent accolades including the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Non-Fiction Film and the  BAFTA Award for Best Documentary.

 

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