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Broken Silence

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Product Details

  • Directors: Luis Puenzo, Janos Szasz, Pavel Chukhraj, Andrzej Wajda, Vojtech Jasny
  • Producers: James Moll, Steven Spielberg
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Black & White
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 2004
  • Run Time: 282 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00018D4PO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,605 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Broken Silence" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Original Broadcast Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    From Steven Spielberg and Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation comes Broken Silence, a series of five films about human courage, heroism, and triumph over intense adversities during World War II. This critically acclaimed series was produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker James Moll. Some Who Lived: Argentine filmmaker Luis Puenzo (director of the Academy Award-winning film, The Official Story) directed this Spanish-language film, weaving together testimonies from Holocaust survivors now living in Argentina and Uruguay with archival and modern-day footage. Puenzo also explores the connections between Nazism and the darker chapters of Argentine history. Eyes of the Holocaust: Director Janos Szasz, the son of Holocaust survivors, made this Hungarian-language documentary that focuses on the experiences of survivors who were children during the Holocaust. Children from the Abyss: Russian Holocaust survivors detail their experiences of resistance, betrayal, collaborators, rescuers, bystanders and the desire for revenge. Directed by Pavel Chukhraj (Academy Award Nominee for his film, The Thief). I Remember: Academy Award Honoree, Andrzej Wajda directed this Polish-language documentary about four survivors who were either helped or betrayed by their Polish neighbors. Hell on Earth: Renowned Czech filmmaker Vojtech Jasny directed this Czech-language documentary, a look at Theresienstadt, the "model" Czech ghetto set up by the Nazis to deceive the world about how well the Jews were treated.

    Customer Reviews

    They are a testimony to the extreme cruelty and evil that humans can infringe on others.
    Who could ever forget such words and images, and who wouldn't be angry and compelled enough to want to work to ensure that it never happens again?
    The survivors had to pick up the pieces of their lives, most with no family or home to go back to.

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    110 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on July 11, 2006
    Format: DVD
    This disc consists of five short films about the Shoah, narrated by survivors living in various countries. The idea behind this collection was to make films in nations that have never really heard of or been taught about the Shoah, where such tales of horror are not familiar or well-known the way they are in a place like America or Canada. (It was also surprising to see that the people in four of the films obviously went back to their homelands, even after all they'd been through there and how in many places the townspeople were willing accomplices for the Germans.) Side one of the disc contains 'Some Who Survived,' 'Eyes of the Holocaust,' and 'Children from the Abyss.' Side two contains 'I Remember' and 'Hell on Earth.'

    'Some Who Survived' ('Algunos Que Vivieron') was originally released in Argentina, though it contains interviews from survivors now living in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. This is interesting because we ordinarily hear about survivors who moved to America, Canada, Israel, and sometimes Australia and England, but not so much about survivors who began new lives in South America, even though quite a few of them did move there. I also enjoyed the fact that it was in Spanish, a language I haven't really had much of a chance to hear or make much use of in awhile despite the fact that I studied it for 7 years. The survivors in this film all came from Eastern Europe, though they weren't all from the same place, which gives this film a bit more variety in its approach. In the other films, the survivors being interviewed were all from the same nations.
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    36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 14, 2009
    Format: DVD
    "Broken Silence" is an amazing production, consisting of five films about the Holocaust, as told by those who experienced its' horrors, and who came from different parts of Europe during WW II. Side I consists of "Some Who Survived", "Eyes of the Holocaust", and "Children from the Abyss". Side II contains "I Remember" and "Hell on Earth".

    "Some Who Survived" was a unique documentary to me as it focuses on Jewish survivors who chose to make their homes in South America [Argentina, Chile, Uruguay] after the war. They speak in fluent Spanish throughout [and some even mention the fact that when they first arrived in Sth America after the war, they had a new language to learn] and I was quite amazed that these survivors, despite the atrocities they had suffered, came to South America, which was known for taking in Nazi war criminals and harboring them, such a Josef Mengele [the Auschwitz doctor of death] and Adolf Eichmann. But what ultimately stands out is the searing testimony by these survivors, who saw their families being ripped from them, family members being sent to their deaths etc.

    The theme of loss and grief and at times, vengeance is seen in the other documentaries as well.

    In "Eyes of the Holocaust", we learn of the Hungarian Jews extermination in the Holocaust. The frame for the documentary is a young girl who finds a book containing key terms defining the Holocaust such as 'deportation' and so on. As she reads these definitions, we are then shown the testimonies of actual survivors.

    Though all the documentaries were unique in their own way [quite a feat considering they were all based on the Holocaust], the most poignant to me was "Children from the Abyss" which tells the stories of the Russian Holocaust survivors.
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    36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By vanhubris on November 7, 2005
    Format: DVD
    This is a very good collection of 5 short documentaries-relating the tales of holocaust survivors.

    Personally, I liked "Some who lived" the best--but this may be partially due to the fact that it was in Spanish and I wasn't as preoccupied with sub-titles as in the other four. Comparisons between Nazi Germany and Argentina are worthy reminders of how soon the past could be forgotten.

    "Eyes of the Holocaust" and "Hell on Earth" relaying Hungarian and Czech experiences are about equal in interest--tying for second best stories.

    I really like Wajda--but his epidsode "I Remember" is probably the least interesting--probably since it consists almost entirely of spoken remembrances--very little use of visual aids of any sort. Additionally, one of the survivors seemed to be embellishing his story--I could be wrong--but it was the impression I got. For those unfamiliar with Wajda--this is from a Polish persepctive.

    The worst--although not the dullest is "Children from the Abyss"-from a Russian perspective-I had problems with this film because it included scenes from movies--interspersed with genuine footage-although admissions of these liberties were included-they were still potentially misleading. Aside from that--it was quite an interesting episode.

    All in all a very good presentation. Though these documentaries represented five different countries--several pictures of victims were repeated in several episodes--one crippled girl appeared in three of these five stories for instance--not a major problem-but the over all effect of this collection would have been stronger in my opinion if this had been avoided.

    Definitely worth watching however--though Wajda's "I remember" may be a little dry for some, and I regret Chukhraj's use of movie clips.

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