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The Last Days - Special Edition

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The Last Days - Special Edition + Frontline - Memory of the Camps + Auschwitz - Inside the Nazi State
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Product Details

  • Directors: James Moll
  • Producers: Ken Lipper, June Beallor, Steven Spielberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: November 5, 2002
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007ELEV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,343 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Last Days - Special Edition" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Steven Spielberg Introduction
  • Outtakes and Behind the Scenes Footage
  • Survivor's Photo Gallery
  • Production Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    The winner of the 1998 Academy Award for Best Documentary, this powerful film traces the compelling experiences of five Hungarian Holocaust survivors who fell victim to Hitler's brutal war against the Jews during the final days of World War II. Including newly-discovered historical footage and a rare interview with a former Nazi doctor at Auschwitz, the film tells the remarkable story of five people - a grandmother, a teacher, a businessman, an artist and a U.S. Congressman - as they return from the United States to their hometowns and to the ghettos and concentration camps in which they were imprisoned. Through the eyes of the survivors and other witnesses, The Last Days recounts one of the most brutal chapters of this dark period in human history, when families were taken from their homes, stripped of their dignity, deported to concentration camps and ultimately murdered. Above all, The Last Days is a potent depiction of personal strength and courage, and a testament to the power of the human spirit.

    Customer Reviews

    It was an experience that I will never forget.
    My heart was still beating wildly as I gulped the fresh air outside the theater and walked slowly home, the horror and the history still touching my raw nerves.
    Linda Linguvic
    What makes "The Last Days" so much more powerful is that the five primary interviewees are survivors of the Holocaust.
    Joe Sherry

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    118 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Joe Sherry on January 19, 2004
    Format: DVD
    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.
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    39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2002
    Format: VHS Tape
    This documentary of five Hungarian survivors of the holocaust is not a comfortable movie to watch. We cannot make believe that it is an re-enactment by actors; we are not distanced from it by the general news clips. Instead, this tightly edited film brings five individual stories of real people to the screen with a scorching reality. In the last six months of WWII, Hitler concentrated his resources in deporting 440,000 Hungarian Jews even after he knew the war was lost. The five people in the documentary, then teenagers, were caught up in this brutal chapter of history, and each one tells his or her story against a backdrop of rare footage of films that were taken by the Nazis. Now in their late 60s and 70s, each one of these survivors, surrounded by loving families, visit the scene of the devastation, and tell their stories.
    Steven Spielberg is the executive producer of this small gem of a film, a memorial to the horrible truth, and I am sure it is his name which brings this film to movie theaters, where I first saw this film. The theater complex on had only two showings -- at noon and at 4:55 p.m. I cannot help but wonder why it was deemed unfit for Saturday night viewing, because every seat was taken in the tiny theater. I cried, and heard the sobbing of the people around me. It was that kind of film. The human beings on the screen were so real. Their stories so true. Their lives so shattered. And then rebuilt. A living testimony to the survival of the human spirit. It's a testimony also of what can be done with film. How a history can be preserved. How snapshots of real life can be recorded.
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    30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2004
    Format: DVD
    This award winning documentary should be viewed often and by everyone, because those who don't know history well are condemned to repeat it; the voices that survived to tell of the horror of the Holocaust also speak of the naivete during the rise of Hitler, and California Congressman Tom Lantos, one of the survivors interviewed for this film, states this fact eloquently.

    The documentary focuses on five Hungarian-born Jews, and the harrowing stories of their lives, as well as others, like Hans Munch, a doctor who took part in the Nazi experiments conducted in Auschwitz, and three members of the U.S. Army, who entered Dachau to liberate it, and were faced with a living hell.

    The survivors return to Auschwitz, to see the place of their suffering, to say Kaddish for their relatives who were murdered, and to visit the their birthplace in Hungary; one town, which until the early '40s had a thriving Jewish community, has now not a trace left...what little Hitler left of it, the Soviets finished, in their zeal to eradicate everything and everyone with a Jewish heritage.

    Interspersed with the interviews is wrenching archive footage of the Holocaust, a vision of pure evil that mankind can sink to, and can do so again if we dull our awareness to those of hateful ideologies, who seek to terrorize and destroy.

    Executive Producer Steven Spielberg calls this film his most important work, and I agree with him. Directed with great sensitivity by James Moll, and with an affecting score by Hans Zimmer, it is a gripping testament to those who must not be forgotten. Total running time is 87 minutes.
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