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Prisoner of Paradise (2002)

Ian Holm , Robby Lantz , Malcolm Clarke (II) , Stuart Sender  |  NR |  DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ian Holm, Robby Lantz, Eleonore Hertzberg, Lone Koppel, Renée Saint-Cyr
  • Directors: Malcolm Clarke (II), Stuart Sender
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • 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: PBS Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: April 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007NFLSG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,548 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prisoner of Paradise" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes footage not seen in the original PBS broadcast

Editorial Reviews

The documentary tells the true story of Kurt Gerron, a successful German-Jewish actor and director, who after being sent to a concentration camp, was forced by his captors to direct the pro-Nazi propaganda film, "The Fuhrer Gives a City to the Jews." In addition to exploring his life, it details the remarkable detective story in which Gerron's film, lost for decades after World War II, was tracked down and painstakingly put back together.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of Kurt Gerron as one who did not get away April 27, 2005
Format:DVD
"Prisoner of Paradise" is an Academy Award-nominated documentary that tells the story of Kurt Gerron. A beloved and well-known German-Jewish actor, director, and cabaret star in Berlin in the 1920s he is most remembered for co-starring with Marlene Dietrich in the classic film "The Blue Angel." He also appeared opposite Peter Lorre in "Bombs Over Monte Carlo" and sang "Mack the Knife" in the original production of "The Threepenny Opera." But footage of Gerron to present the idea of the archetypal Jew in early propaganda films such as "The Eternal Jew." The reason Gerron is the subject of this PBS documentary is because of the last creative effort of his life. It was Gerron who directed the Nazi propaganda film made about the Theresienstadt concentration camp, which was known as "The Model Ghetto."

Theresienstadt was the German name for Terezín, the name of a former military fortress and garrison town in the Ústí nad Labem Region of the Czech Republic. During World War I the fortress was used as a prisoner of war camp and Gavrilo Princip, who started the war by assassinating Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife, died of there in 1918. The Gestapo took over the fortress in 1940 and the following year was turned by Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the SS, into an internment camp for local Jews. By the summer of 1942 that population had been exterminated and the site was a closed environment for privileged Jews from Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria.

When the Nazis permitted a visit by the Red Cross to counter rumors about the extermination camps, thousands of Jews were deported to Auschwitz to avoid the appearance of overcrowding in Theresienstadt. Fake shops and cafes were built to make it seems the Jews were living in relative comfort.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost of Soul March 14, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The movie really made me understand on how the NAZI during that days, really destroy people's heart and mind. many intelligent and creative minds in those days were raped of their root, and forced to comply with NAZI's idea. this film reflect how a genius mind can be crippled to the lowest level. let us learn from this horror, and never to repeat it anymore.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Prisoner in Paradise is not an easy film to watch and yet, I felt compelled to know the stories of great talent that was decimated during WWII. I believe "we" of all peoples need to know this so that we can always remember actual faces and stories of people who are murdered needlessly anywhere.
The beauty of this film is to see the "life spirit" to entertain and share creative gifts no matter the circumstance.
You will be moved and inspired and hopefully awakened to include all these people in your remembrance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nominated for an Oscar, for good reason. June 10, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Phenominal film about Terezin, this film features interviews of historic figures and reveals some of the many horrors of the concentration camps and Nazi propaganda. There are moments you will cry and gasp aloud.
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