Top positive review
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A powerful film, everyone should see this one
on January 19, 2004
A film by James Moll
Winner of the 1998 Academy Award for Best Documentary
I do not feel that I have the words to adequately describe this film and my reaction to it. I have seen "Schindler's List", it is a powerful, haunting film. While it is based on a real event of the Shoah, it is still a fictional film. There are actors playing parts and despite the brutality we see in the movie, everyone goes home at the end of the day. What makes "The Last Days" so much more powerful is that the five primary interviewees are survivors of the Holocaust. They are telling their stories of their lives and their experiences of Hitler's Final Solution. There is actual video footage, and photographs from the time, and it is still shocking to hear and to see, and I would suggest that it remains necessary to hear and to see.
This is the story of five Jews from Hungary. They tell of their experiences before, during, and after the war. They were all in various camps: Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen. Their stories are incredible, and since the stories are being told by the men and women who experienced the Holocaust, they are all the more powerful. We learn how they were rounded up and put into the train cars, what they thought, why they didn't actively resist, and what happened to the rest of their families. We also get to see them each go back for the first time to the concentration camps they were held in. They are with their children, and are revealing little details, mostly painful, as they remember them. One man, as he walks through the gates says that even after all these years, the memories are just as fresh as when he was a prisoner.
I don't feel that my description does this film justice. It is a beautiful, powerful, and ultimately necessary movie. Despite the fact that we may have heard various stories of the Holocaust over the years, we still need to hear these stories because pretty soon there will be nobody left alive who lived through it, and these stories will be all that is left. These are important stories, and "The Last Days" does an exceptional job at telling these five stories.