Destination Unknown (2017)


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Destination Unknown blends intimate testimony with immersive archive to bring the stories of twelve Holocaust survivors to the screen. The film creates a seamless mosaic of first-hand accounts, rare archive from the time, and family Super 8 footage from after the war. The survivors share their memories, some for the first time, some for the last, bringing their experiences to a new generation. They endured the death camps. They hid in remote farms. They fought as partisans in Polish forests. But when the war ended, those survivors' struggles were only just beginning. With the only interview ever recorded of Mietek Pemper, the stenographer for the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp Commandant - Amon Göth and advisor to Oskar Schindler, who previously refused to talk on film, among other incredible personal stories, Destination Unknown paints a uniquely intimate portrait of survival, revealing the pain that has never faded, but cannot crush the human spirit. Their stories do not end with liberation. We see how they had to survive the chaos that came afterwards, and their attempts to build new lives.


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Critic Reviews for Destination Unknown

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

In spite of its shortcomings, Destination Unknown has a cumulative power in upholding people who survived by believing in life and love.

Nov 10, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

An accomplished and heartrending documentary comprised of testimony from men and women who made it out of the Nazis' concentration camps, or avoided them altogether by hiding from capture.

Nov 10, 2017 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Yes, there have been countless Holocaust-themed documentaries released in recent years. But Destination Unknown represents a worthy addition to the canon if only for its historical importance.

Nov 9, 2017 | Full Review…

A vivid portrait of genocide put into practice, and its everlasting effects on the living.

Nov 9, 2017 | Full Review…

Their stories, intercut with archival footage over a brisk and frequently harrowing 81 minutes, build to a pitch of horror and sadness that eventually allows for a note or two of hope to sound.

Nov 9, 2017 | Full Review…

What comes through is the clarity, not just of the survivors' memories but of their rage.

Jun 12, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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