Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Actor, writer, and director Tim Blake Nelson adapts this grim look at the Holocaust from his own play, based on Miklós Nyiszli's book, Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account. The film centers on the Sonderkommando: Jewish concentration camp prisoners whose job was to herd their fellow Jews into the gas chamber, and to dispose of the bodies following the execution. In return, these prisoners received food and a little more time before their own executions. As the members of the sonderkommando struggle to orchestrate what would be the only armed insurrection in Auschwitz, a group of them discover a 14-year-old girl who somehow survived the gas chamber. The girl becomes a symbol for their own spiritual salvation and they become obsessed with keeping the girl alive, even if it endangers the uprising that could save thousands. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.
concentration-camp, gas-chamber, Holocaust, Jewish, secret-plan, war-atrocities, insurrection