Broken Silence

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History Documentary published by Cinemax Reel Life in 2002 - Hungarian, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Czech narration

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Broken Silence (2002)

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.

Warning: All of these films contain graphic and disturbing material.

A Holocaust Szemei / Eyes of the Holocaust (56:56)
The parents of Hungarian director Janos Szasz' were Holocaust survivors themselves. Hungary was an ally of Germany during World War II, and while Jews were discriminated against by the Hungarian regime, the mass killings did not begin until the Germans entered Hungary in 1943 while retreating from defeat in the Soviet Union. The survivors here describe the slow erosion of their lives followed by panic when the Nazis took over and attempted to liquidate the Hungarian population.

algunos que vivieron / Some Who Lived (55:29)
This film is by the Argentinian director Luis Puenzo', whose film The Official Story won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1985. That film was an examination of the impact of the military junta on the lives of an upper middle class family. In Some Who Lived, Puenzo takes a chronological approach to the testimonies of a number of Holocaust survivors who end up in Argentina, a country that also harboured fugitive Nazis. Archival footage is used to illustrate the film so that it is not just a series of talking heads, and Puenzo attempts to draw parallels with the Argentinean regime of Juan Peron.

Children From the Abyss (56:04)
Russian director Pavel Chukraj' effectively shows the horror of the Nazi invasion of Russia, with the mass killings conducted by the Einsatzgruppen after the Wehrmacht had moved further into the country. Rather than deport the Jews to concentration camps, the SS forced them to dig mass graves and simply shot or burned them on the spot. At Babi Yar, the Germans reduced the population of 150,000 Jews from Kiev down to 20 within a matter of months. Chukraj uses the testimonies of survivors who were children at the time of the atrocities, some of whom managed to survive the Babi Yar massacre, and this film is one of the best in this series.

Pamietam / I Remember (58:08)
This film is by the veteran Polish director Andrzej Wajda' whose credentials include several war-themed films and Korsczak, the true story of a orphanage director who went with the children in his orphanage to the gas chamber. Unlike the other films in this series, Wajda does not use archival footage at all. This film is in black and white and Wajda counterpoints the testimonies with images of young people taking part in the annual March of the Years in the extermination camp at Auschwitz (Oswiecim). Instead of short extracts from multiple testimonies, Wajda uses the stories of only four survivors, who describe their stories in detail. Most remarkable of these are David Efrati, whose tales of survival after escaping from the Warsaw ghetto are extraordinary, and Henryk Mandelbaum, who was forced to work in the crematorium in Auschwitz.

Peklo na Zemi / Hell On Earth (56:13)
The Czech director Vojtech Jasny' saw his father deported to Auschwitz. He became a partisan and fought against the Germans until the liberation. This film tells of inhabitants of the model camp built at Terezin (Theresienstadt), at least some of whom was enlisted to help bury the victims of the massacre at nearby Lidice.

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Technical Specs
Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate: 1520 kbps
Video Resolution: 640x480
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1
Audio Codec: 0x2000 (Dolby AC3) AC3
Audio BitRate: 192 kbps
Audio Streams: 1
Audio Languages: Pt1: Hungarian/ Pt2: Spanish/ Pt3: Russian/ Pt3: Polish/ Pt4: Czech
RunTime Per Part: 55-58 mins
Number Of Parts: 5
Part Size: 700mb
Subtitles: English/Portuguese
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