Watermarks (2005)



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

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Movie Info

This is the story of the champion women swimmers of the legendary Jewish sports club, Hakoah Vienna. Founded in 1909 in response to the notorious Aryan Paragraph, which forbade Austrian sports clubs from accepting Jewish athletes, Hakoah rapidly grew into one of Europe's biggest athletic clubs, with its members achieving astonishing success in many diverse sports. In the 1930s Hakoah's best-known triumphs came from its women swimmers, who dominated national competitions in Austria. After the Anschluss in 1938, the Nazis shut down the club, but the swimmers all managed to flee the country before the war broke out. Sixty-five years later, members of the swimming team reunite in their old swimming pool in Vienna, a journey that evokes memories of youth and femininity and strengthens lifelong bonds. Told by the swimmers, now in their 80s, the chronicle is about a group of young girls with a passion to be the best. It is the saga of seven outstanding athletes who still swim daily as they age with grace. Above all, it is a celebration of life.
Art House & International , Documentary , Special Interest , Sports & Fitness
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Critic Reviews for Watermarks

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (14)

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.

Full Review… | June 3, 2005
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Modest, moving and intelligently assembled.

June 3, 2005
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

His film, both reverent and affectionate, has at its heart a story that richly deserves the telling.

April 29, 2005
Seattle Times
Top Critic

What a delightful group they are -- sharp, witty, chic survivors who forged new lives and successful careers in new countries.

Full Review… | April 1, 2005
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Not especially lively filmmaking, but Zilberman has unearthed some terrific footage of the club in its heyday.

March 31, 2005
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

A touching film, providing a glimpse into yet another hidden story about the history of European Jews before the arrival of the Nazis.

Full Review… | February 25, 2005
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Watermarks

This is one of the most moving Holocaust documentaries we have seen. There is no "death camp" footage.... but the story is one of strength, defiance, resiliance and ultimate triumph. It must be told! This is a story which is on a "back burner"... but once called to our attention, it's impact is indelible. Bravo to all!

Jerry Kane
Jerry Kane

A great documentary because of its subject. The women were intriguing, I loved hearing their stories, and each of them was unique. This film conveyed their great pride in being Hakaoh members. Their reunion was climactic and stirring. The last scene of the film really touched me.

Janet B
Janet B

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