Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Unfortunately bound by clichés and stereotypes rather than original insights and new viewpoints, this condensed movie version of an 8-hour television series does not do complete justice to its noble topic of courage in the face of the World War II holocaust. The story is based on the memoirs of Martin Gray (Michael York plays the older Gray and Jacques Penot the younger), a Polish Jew who survived the Warsaw Ghetto and escaped Treblinka, the Nazi death camp where his mother and brothers died. After leaving Treblinka, Martin returns to Warsaw in time to join the Jewish insurrection at the Warsaw ghetto. In 1943, thousands of Jews in the walled ghetto revolted and fought the German occupation forces for six weeks, killing 5,000 Germans but losing their heroic struggle -- that six-week battle is a major focus of the film. Miraculously, Gray survives the war and moves to France where he meets and falls in love with Dina (Brigitte Fossey) -- and then has a major second tragic episode in his life that opens this film, and in the story and in real life it inspires him to write his memoirs.
war, escape, Holocaust, Polish [nationality], concentration-camp, camp, career, immigrant, personal