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Watermarks (2004)

tomatometer

96

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 1

Watermarks is a moving and fascinating look at how the Nazi-fication of Germany in the 1930s affect a group of Jewish women swimmers.

93

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 1

Watermarks is a moving and fascinating look at how the Nazi-fication of Germany in the 1930s affect a group of Jewish women swimmers.

audience

92

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 178

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1909, after the Austrian government passed a law known as "the Aryan Paragraph" which forbade sporting clubs from accepting Jewish members, a group of Jewish athletes responded by forming a sports organization of their own. Known as "Hakoah Vienna" (from the Hebrew word for strength), the club sought to give Jewish athletes a place to turn to, and to confront stereotypes that Austrian Jews were intellectual giants but physical weaklings. Hakoah Vienna's members were champions in a number of

Dec 6, 2005

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All Critics (29) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (1) | DVD (3)

Zilberman's storytelling is a little jumpy, but his documentary is a fitting tribute to seven women whose strength of mind and character, as much as their physical prowess, was developed by the organization that ensured their survival.

June 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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Modest, moving and intelligently assembled.

June 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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His film, both reverent and affectionate, has at its heart a story that richly deserves the telling.

April 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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What a delightful group they are -- sharp, witty, chic survivors who forged new lives and successful careers in new countries.

April 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Not especially lively filmmaking, but Zilberman has unearthed some terrific footage of the club in its heyday.

March 31, 2005 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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A touching film, providing a glimpse into yet another hidden story about the history of European Jews before the arrival of the Nazis.

February 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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Surprisingly complex and moving, Yaron Silberman's vibrantly nostalgic documentary succeeds because it is about more than its surface subjects, young Jewish women who were champion swimmers in the 1930s whose lives were interrupted by the war.

November 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The film's real power comes from the women's personalities.

June 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

That the film is watchable is largely due to the women, any of whom could have been the subject of a better, considerably more focused film.

June 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

It is a treat to encounter the fierce, brave, learned women of Watermarks.

June 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

The film's denouement is one of triumphant symbolism as the women return to Vienna for a swim in their former pool. There are no medals given for this reunion, but it's definitely one that deserves a cheer.

March 3, 2005
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

One of the most amazing aspects of this film is how many of the octogenarian-plus swimmers have survived after first fleeing post-Anschluss Austria for the four corners of the world.

February 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

Not a great movie, but contains fascinating historical material.

February 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Hugely entertaining and wonderfully warm documentary.

January 21, 2005 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Moving documentary.

January 21, 2005 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

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