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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Holocaust > Unlikely Heroes (Holocaust Documentary)

Unlikely Heroes (Holocaust Documentary)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: B+



In another one of a key set of documentaries of some truly untold stories of The Holocaust, Sir Ben Kingsley narrates Unlikely Heroes (2003), which tells of some persons who would not be obvious choices to risk their lives to save people from gas chambers and crematoriums, but did.  Among them are some of the biggest risk-takers in all of World War II and some acts of heroism that were downright subversive.


There is Robert Clarey of Hogan’s Heroes, whose guts to make people happy while imprisoned and facing a living hell make Life Is Beautiful and both Jakob The Liar films pale by comparison, there are the sisters who used homemade bombs to destroy a camp, there is the Rabbi’s Daughter who dared to go to Berlin in the middle of all the killing, and there is one man who was so clever in changing his appearance, his chapter is rightly dubbed “Master Of Disguise”.  They are just some of the people who really did keep hope alive, as well as people who would have been surely dead otherwise.  There are others, but we’ll save that for the viewer. 


The letterboxed 1.85 X 1 image is varied, but good just the same considering how hard it is to bring together so many images past and present.  Jeffrey Victor shot the newer footage on Eastman stock.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is simple and with no surround information, but is clear enough and the interviewees sound just fine.  Kingsley is clear, as usual, and the Lee Holdridge score is usually a plus.  Any triumphant music, no matter how well intended in telling such a dark set of stories, makes me feel uncomfortable.  The theatrical sound was Dolby SR and available in digital.  The only extras are the Simon Wiesenthal promo we have seen on other DVDs and trailers for four of those, including The Long Way Home, The Search For Peace, Liberation and Genocide.  They are all reviewed elsewhere on this site and we recommend Unlikely Heroes as strongly as any of them.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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