I find I have a little trouble writing great reviews for documentaries but I'll give it my best shot here. This is only the 4th review (community and critic) for this film on this site.
This is a documentary about the history of antisemitism and the holocaust in Nazi Germany.
My first thoughts about this film during the first few minutes was that it was put together kinda like a grade school play. The delivery of the dialogue was clunky and it seemed...over-rehearsed. As I'm sure you know, this isn't something that I want at all from a film discussing a subject as important as it is horrifying. However, I do not feel that it continued that way. I am a History education major at UNC (Greeley) and I specialize in Reconstruction to WWII particularly WWII. so I would like to think that I know a thing or two about the Holocaust. I actually learned new things by watching this. It did what a good Holocaust movie does: horrify. It shows what hardships the Jews of Europe had to go through, it showed how they were killed like animals, and worst of all, it showed that the allied leaders such as Roosevelt and Chamberlain did not allow Jews into America and Britain. I am still not sure why that is exactly. But I am sure it is something that the leaders of the world really regret. I know I would.
People have posed the question to some (I think myself included) 'would you kill Hitler as a baby?' answer that yourself in the comments, but I say that no, I wouldn't The moment I would have killed Hitler was when he rolled into Austria to annex it for Germany. I would have been on a rooftop with a bazooka to blow that mini-mustached f***** off of the planet.
All that to say, this film was a good one. It is not the best Holocaust film that I have seen (not even close) but it was still very good.
Final Score: 34/40
Tomatometer rating: 100% with one review
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 100% with 2 reviews.
Tomatometer community rating: 31% with 83 ratings (mine included)
TRIVIA TIME: 1. The film was originally designed to be presented in a multi-screen format at a Los Angeles museum, with one 35mm projector, two 16mm projectors, and 18 slide projectors. Only after completion was it reformatted to be shown in standard film theaters.
Narrated by both Orson Welles and Elizabeth Taylor, there is a sense of urgency in their narration that mirrors the desperation that the trapped Jews of Europe felt at that time. The most riveting aspect of this documentary for me was the heartwrenching eyewitness testimonies by survivors of the massacres at Babi Yar in the Ukraine, and also the Eishyshok massacre in Lithuania. These testimonies (as read by Elizabeth Taylor) coupled with the graphic photographs of Nazi brutalities made this quite an emotional viewing experience for me (as it is each time I watch a Holocaust drama or documentary). There is also an animated segment in this documentary based on the poem "I Never Saw Another Butterfly" by Pavel Friedman, who was incarcerated in Theresienstadt during WW II.
It's a pity that the DVD of this documentary has been discontinued by the manufacturer. I believe that it would be a good teaching resource for high school to college age history students. It's still available as a rental on online DVD rental sites.