To prepare you for 21st year of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, completely virtual-for-the-first time as you’ve never seen before, we bring you 21 previews spotlighting the breath of films offered for your home viewing. The films, which represent more than half of those in the AJFF lineup Feb. 17-28, include classics, intimate family dramas, upbeat comedy and historic documentaries. Sit back and relax as the AJFF brings us together through film.
Meticulously crafted and absolutely riveting, this previously untold story of two Slovak Jews who managed to escape Auschwitz to smuggle out a painstakingly detailed report on concentration camp operations and systematic genocide, demands viewing. Freddy and Walter had been scribes in Auschwitz for two years, from 1942 to April 1944, recording for the Nazis overseeing the dismal camp, reams of potentially damning statistics on incarcerations and deaths, numbers that were unknown to the Red Cross, the Resistance and the Allies.
Scrupulously planned, the men’s terrifying escape amid daily humiliations and outright atrocities is abetted by their fellow captives who audaciously stand their ground as the Nazi officers, having discovered the “crime,” attempt to uncover the specifics of the violation through psychological and other means. Propelled by the hope that their crucial evidence, once viewed by the outside world, could save lives, the two emaciated and injured men slowly but doggedly forge their way through the rough mountainous terrain back to Slovakia. With the unexpected benefit of fortuitous encounters, they ultimately manage to cross the border and meet with members of the Resistance and the Red Cross.
Emotionally grim, even brutal at times, “The Auschwitz Report” reveals the determined and treacherous journey of the two escapees, portrayed with emotionally jarring realism, and depicts immense passion and empathy for the suffering of all the prisoners at the hands of the Nazis. Joining the pantheon of must-see Holocaust narratives, director Peter Bebjak’s heart-wrenching story of daring and defiance is Slovakia’s Best International Feature Oscar submission.