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Narrated by both Orson Welles and Elizabeth Taylor, there is a sense of urgency in their narration that mirrors the desperation that the trapped Jews of Europe felt at that time. The most riveting aspect of this documentary for me was the heartwrenching eyewitness testimonies by survivors of the massacres at Babi Yar in the Ukraine, and also the Eishyshok massacre in Lithuania. These testimonies (as read by Elizabeth Taylor) coupled with the graphic photographs of Nazi brutalities made this quite an emotional viewing experience for me (as it is each time I watch a Holocaust drama or documentary). There is also an animated segment in this documentary based on the poem "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" by Pavel Friedman, who was incarcerated in Theresienstadt during WW II.
It's a pity that the DVD of this documentary has been discontinued by the manufacturer. I believe that it would be a good teaching resource for high school to college age history students. It's still available as a rental on online DVD rental sites.
May we be warned and reminded to always keep our eyes open, remaining vigilant for: Crimes against humanity, hatreds against groups, slamming others into inflexible walls of personal, political, sexual, racial, cultural and religious expectations, outlawing and attacking women, children.. genocide still continues today around the world.
May we all know the signs and guard against. It was never the time nor is now is the time for silence.
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
~Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
Along with the historical and political information, accounts from survivors are read by Elizabeth Taylor. These first-person testimonials are extremely moving, although Taylor's readings are often a bit overly dramatic. This issue is sometimes compounded by the score by Elmer Bernstein, which could have been more restrained. On the plus side, having such talent involved certainly lends the requisite gravitas. In addition, the story is told creatively with artwork and drawings, which allows needed respite from the use of video and photos, which are sometimes overwhelming. "Genocide" is put together very well and deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. I've seen quite a few documentaries over the years about the Holocaust, and although this one is flawed, it remains on of the best overviews and is extremely effective emotionally. Unfortunately, this fine documentary is no longer available from the manufacturer - hopefully it will be re-released again on dvd by another maker.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This documentary has become dated over time and is most evidenced in its graphics and photo editing. Read morePublished 27 days ago by bgrant
Very intense, extremely interesting and disheartening all at the same time. I enjoy doing research on the Holocaust. This brought so many things into perspective.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great comprehensive introduction to the topic of the Holocaust.Published 12 months ago by W. R. Pruitt