(1923/Flicker Alley Blu-ray w/DVD)/Boxer
Of Auschwitz (2018/MVD
Visual DVD)/Line 41
(2018/Film Movement DVD)/To
Auschwitz & Back: The Joe Engel Story
C/B & C+/C+/C+/C+ Sound: C+/B- & C+/C+/C+/C+ Extras:
B/B-/C-/C/D Main Programs: B
next are four incredible documentaries of survival and truths
revealed that were never meant to be know, plus a classic silent
drama some people wanted to erase forever...
(2018) tells the incredible story of how six women barely survived
one of the worst of the many horrible death camps (new ones are still
being found), tried to go back to where they came from in Europe, et
al, but things were still so horrible that they all found their way
to the United States and managed to rebuild their lives. The ugliest
surprise was in the tales of the survivors coming back, seeing people
wearing their clothes, their homes gone and possessing their
property, then many being greeted with violence and some being
murdered by the people who betrayed them where they lived! A
separate documentary on that deserves to be made.
second surprise is how these women managed to cope, hold in the
nightmare until they had to deal with the terror in ways that came
out of nowhere, like post-traumatic stress syndrome/disorder and had
loved ones who could help them. The other part of the European
troubles had to do with how devastated the countries were after WWII
and what a huge contrast they were to the United States enjoying the
industrial revolution benefits (save the Great Depression) and
post-WWII boost. It is a history not to be forgotten.
then we haver the personal, private stories of the ladies here who
faced the worse and somehow fought back, barely made it and
integrated just enough to have the lives they were being fought at
having any bit of by The Final Solution, success being some of the
best revenge and how honest they are in their testimony and
interviews throughout this amazing work. This really stood out for
me and I strongly recommend it.
include Commercials, Trailers and a Question & Answers session on
(1923 aka Das
has the distinction of being made by German Jews and in its story of
a young man (Ernst Deutch) in the 1860s wants to be an actor and even
falls in love with a woman, but his strict Hasidic father will not
hear any of it and believes going secular will be a disaster.
Running two hours, it sounds like a forerunner of the 1927 hit The
with Al Jolson, but there is no racist blackface here and the Judaism
is even more forward and in front with more screen time, no sound and
more to consider. This one works well without even any music.
Alley has pulled off issuing another priceless gem yet again, issuing
this in a solid Blu-ray/DVD set and the extras are a plus (see
below), but the film is now 96 years old and counting!!!! That a
film was made at that time, survives, is a relevant as ever and
represents a priceless piece of German cinema that was nearly lost
because the Nazis wanted it erased forever is another reason this
resonates beyond anything the makers could have imagined when they
were filming it. They were just making an ambitious drama in a
country whose cinema was rivaling Hollywood (UFA was the biggest
studio around this time before Lang's Metropolis
was made a few years later and other changes began), so German Jews
(including Lang) made that cinema and industry possible and saving
this film is so very important. It is also fine moviemaking.
include an illustrated booklet on the film including informative text
and several essays, while both disc versions add a Slideshow,
Into The Restoration
featurette (15 minutes) on the hard work it took to save this film)
and the only surviving piece of Der
Film Im Film
(1923) documentary showing feature film production behind the scenes
at the time in Germany.
(2018) tells the true story of how Victor ''Young'' Perez was the
championship boxer of the world and happened to be Jewish, also the
youngest to achieve this, only to be rounded up as part of the Nazi
campaign against Jews and sent to Auschwitz. Actor Tomer Sisley is a
fan, boxer and was so interested in finding out more about Perez, but
discovered to his shock that little was actually known about him or
his fate, so that is how this new documentary got made.
won't ruin anything, but he slowly but surely gets his answers, sees
some very ugly things, gets priceless testimony and finds out just
how great Perez really was. When the Nazis found out who they had,
they started holding boxing matches with Perez and unskilled
prisoners for their sick amusement, then we learn other sad things.
This runs a remarkably rick, strong, intriguing 64 minutes and I wish
it were longer. I hope we learn more about Perez and if we do, this
will be one of the reasons. Remarkable work here!
include an Original Theatrical Trailer.
(2018) is something I was a little familiar with, a passenger trolley
route in Poland that continued to run when the Nazis annexed the
country and created a jewish ghetto so close to the free populations.
The Nazis pushed for Polish people to identify as Germans, save the
Jews they were condemning. The trolley system still needed to
transport the new free Germans and Polish who 'suddenly' were German,
so the only way to get many places were via this route. As a result,
the title route was always accompanied by armed Nazis to make sure no
Jews escaped the ghetto, but those trapped there could see the
trolley and we learn how this played out.
ugly experience, there were fences and signs that added to the split,
segregation and warning to those on all sides to stay separate. To
not listen meant warning shots and worse. Amazingly, the route is
running today minus the fences and Nazi propaganda. Anti-semitism is
alive and well in Poland, even on the rise of late, which we get to
see some of here and that issue is dealt with enough (another
separate documentary examining that would be worth making) so the 96
minutes we get here are very thorough on the whole situation. I
strongly recommend this as well.
include 25 minutes of bonus footage, from trailers to more interview
footage with three of the survivors.
we have Ron Small's To
Auschwitz & Back: The Joe Engel Story
(2017) with Mr. Engel telling his story very vividly so many decades
later of how he was grabbed in 1927 at age 14 by the Nazis in one of
their early purges and how he suffered the unexpected and unthinkable
for three years. He barely escaped, became a resistance fighter,
then arrived in the United States to rebuild his life, but never
forgot and offers more priceless testimony about his experience,
those of others, of those he lost and then returns to the scene of
the crime against humanity to confront the ugliness and reconfirm the
being 90 years old, his recall is amazing and turns out to be more
accurate than he might even suspect, as he is very passionate,
believable and some of it so painful, you could not ever forget.
There is more, but I'll stop there, just to add that he is extremely
well spoken and honest and another hero/survivor telling the truth
some hoped to erase forever. This too is a must-see documentary. He
is amazing here, like his counterparts in the other documentaries
are no extras.
1080p 1.33 X 1 sometimes tinted black & white digital High
Definition image in 1.78 X 1 framing on Ancient
is an incredible restoration that took at least five different,
incomplete, damaged prints from five countries to reconstruct. Sure,
the transfer can show the age of the materials used because this film
is lucky to have survived at all, but many sections look in mint
condition and are most impressive. The DVD version looks good for
the format, but misses the better detail and color of the Blu-ray.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the four DVD documentaries
look good for the format with hours of footage we are lucky to have,
is slightly softer a bit more often in its various clips throughout.
PCM 2.0 Stereo on Ancient
is the best sonic presentation by default, albeit it is all music,
while the DVDs offer lossy
Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and Line
actually has lossy Dolby Digital 5.1, though all are interview/talk
based save Ancient
with the same music as the Blu-ray, if not as warm or clear.