Directed by Edward Zwick, Defiance narrates the true-life account of the Bielski partisans, a group led by Jewish brothers from Belarus who saved and recruited Jews during World War II. Starring Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski, Liev Schreiber as Zus Bielski, Jamie Bell as Asael Bielski, and George MacKay as Aron Bielski. You can either rent or buy it on Amazon.
Schindler’s List (1993)
Schindler’s List, a mesmerizing film by Steven Spielberg, is considered one of the greatest Holocaust movies ever made. It revolves around the true story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saved the lives of over a thousand Polish Jews by employing them in his factories during the war. The cast includes Ralph Fiennes as the sadistic SS officer Amon Goeth and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant, Itzhak Stern. You can find it on Netflix, or rent or buy it on Amazon.
Denial is an intense courtroom drama based on the real-life trial of Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic accused of defaming British author David Irving by labeling him a “Holocaust denier.” Rachel Weisz portrays Lipstadt, while Timothy Spall plays Irving. The trial, closely watched by global media, ultimately vindicated Lipstadt and exposed Irving as a manipulator of historical facts. Other notable actors in the film include Andrew Scott as solicitor Anthony Julius and Tom Wilkinson as barrister Richard Rampton. You can find it on Netflix, or rent or buy it on Amazon.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds presents an alternative history where two separate plots are devised to assassinate the leadership of Nazi Germany. Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), a young French-Jewish cinema owner, plans one assassination, while First Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) leads a team of Jewish-American soldiers planning the other. The stellar cast includes Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, and Diane Kruger. You can rent or buy it on Amazon.
The Resistance Banker (2018)
The Resistance Banker, chosen as the Netherlands’ entry for the Oscars, showcases the audacious actions of Walraven van Hall and his brother, Gijsbert, members of a prominent banking family. For three years, they financed the Dutch resistance, stealing $250 million from Nazi-controlled coffers and borrowing an additional $250 million to support attacks, smuggle Allied pilots to safety, and provide financial assistance to at least 8,000 Jews in hiding during the war. The bravery of van Hall, recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem in 1978, is powerfully portrayed in this film. You can find it on Netflix.
Operation Finale (2018)
Operation Finale, a gripping drama directed by Chris Weitz, retells the true story of Mossad agent Peter Malkin (Oscar Isaac) and his team as they secretly hunt down and capture Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann (Ben Kingsley) while he hides in Argentina. The film portrays Eichmann’s subsequent arrest and trial in Israel in 1961, where he was ultimately executed for his crimes. You can find it on Netflix.
Son of Saul (2015)
Son of Saul, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, tells the story of Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig), an inmate in the Sonderkommando at Auschwitz. Amidst witnessing unspeakable horrors, Saul believes he has found his son among the bodies and feels compelled to find a rabbi to give the child a proper Jewish burial. You can rent or buy it on Amazon.
Red Trees (2017)
Director Marina Willer, whose father was among twelve Jewish families that survived the Nazi occupation of Prague, presents the perilous journey her family took from war-torn Eastern Europe to the solace of South America in Red Trees. Narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith, the visually-stunning film includes footage shot by Academy Award nominee César Charlone. You can find it on Netflix.
The Pianist (2002)
This powerful biographical drama, directed by Roman Polanski, depicts the Holocaust memoir of Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman (played by Adrien Brody). The Pianist was nominated for seven Oscars and won three, including Best Director for Polanski, Best Adapted Screenplay by Ronald Harwood, and Best Actor for Brody. It also received the Palme d’Or at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival. You can rent or buy it on Amazon.
Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution (2005)
Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution is a powerful six-part documentary series by the BBC. It provides an in-depth exploration of the Auschwitz story, featuring interviews with former inmates, guards, and re-enactments of historical events. The series covers every aspect of this notorious Nazi camp, from its conception to mass murder, experimentation, liberation, and revenge, where more than one million Jews lost their lives. You can find it on Netflix.
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