Ten iconic Holocaust films to watch now on Netflix and Amazon
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HMD 2019Memorable films about the Holocaust

Ten iconic Holocaust films to watch now on Netflix and Amazon

From the seminal Schindler’s List and Auschwitz to uplifting stories of survival and resistance, here are our pick of the memorable films and documentaries to watch now

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

Schindler's List
Schindler's List

Defiance (2008)

Directed by Edward Zwick, Defiance tells the true-life story of the Bielski partisans, a group led by Belarusian Jewish brothers, who saved and recruited Jews in Belarus during the Second World War. The film stars Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski, Liev Schreiber as Zus Bielski, Jamie Bell as Asael Bielski, and George MacKay as Aron Bielski. Available to rent or buy on Amazon.

Schindler’s List (1993)

One of the greatest Holocaust films of all time and recipient of seven Academy Awards, Steven Spielberg’s sweeping epic Schindler’s List follows the real-life story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saved the lives of more than 1,000 mostly Polish Jews by employing them in his factories during the Second World War. The stellar cast includes Ralph Fiennes as sadistic SS officer Amon Goeth and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern. Available on Netflix, and to rent or buy on Amazon

Denial (2016)

Gripping courtroom drama based on the real-life trial in which American academic Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) was sued by British author David Irving (Timothy Spall) after she described him as a ‘Holocaust denier’. During the trial, Irving maintained no Jews were murdered by gassing at Auschwitz. It was a tension-filled case watched by the world’s media that ultimately vindicated Lipstadt and left Irving’s reputation in tatters as a falsifier of history. The stellar cast also includes Andrew Scott as solicitor Anthony Julius and Tom Wilkinson as barrister Richard Rampton. Available on Netflix, and to rent or buy on Amazon

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

An alternative history from director Quentin Tarantino, which presents two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany’s leadership.
One is planned by Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent),
a young French-Jewish cinema proprietor, the other by a team of Jewish-American soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt). The stellar cast also includes Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender and Diane Kruger. Available to rent or buy on Amazon.

The Resistance Banker (2018)

Chosen as Netherland’s entry for next year’s Oscars, The Resistance Banker shows the audacious actions of Walraven van Hall and his brother, Gijsbert, members of a prominent banking family, who for three years bankrolled the Dutch resistance. Together, they stole $250million from Nazi-controlled coffers and borrowed an additional $250m from other bankers to carry out attacks, smuggle Allied pilots to safety and provide financial support to at least 8,000 Jews in hiding during the Second World War. The bravery of van Hall, who was recognised as a Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem in 1978, is powerfully told. Available on Netflix

Operation Finale (2018)

Thrilling drama from director Chris Weitz retelling the true-life story of Mossad agent Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and his team, who covertly hunted down and captured Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley), while hiding in Argentina. Operation Finale shows Eichmann’s subsequent arrest and trial in Israel in 1961, where he was ultimately executed for his crimes. Available on Netflix

Son of Saul (2015)

Winner of the Academy Awards for best foreign language film, director László Nemes’ drama revolves around Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig), an inmate chosen to work in the Sonderkommando at Auschwitz. Aside from the unspeakable horror he witnesses, he sees a boy among the bodies who might be his son, and feels he must find a rabbi to give the child a proper Jewish burial. Available to rent or buy on Amazon

Red Trees (2017)

Award-winning director Marina Willer’s father was among 12 Jewish families to survive the Nazi occupation of Prague during the Second World War.

In Red Trees, she traces the perilous journey taken by the family, as told through the voice of her father, Alfred (narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith), from war-torn Eastern Europe to the solace of South America. The visually-stunning film
features footage shot by Academy Award nominee César Charlone (City of God). Available on Netflix

The Pianist (2002)

This powerful biographical drama directed by Roman Polanski is based on the Holocaust memoir of Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman (played by Adrien Brody). Nominated for seven Oscars, The Pianist picked up three for best director, best adapted screenplay (Ronald Harwood) and best actor, as well as the Palme d’Or at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. Available to rent or buy on Amazon

Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution (2005)

Powerful six-part documentary series from the BBC, which presents an in-depth look at the story of Auschwitz and features interviews with former inmates, guards and re-enactments of historic events. From conception to reality, mass murder, experimentation and ultimately liberation and revenge, the series covers all aspects of this notorious Nazi camp, where more than one million Jews were sent to their deaths. Available on Netflix

 

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