Triumph of the Spirit (2000)




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Movie Info

Triumph of the Spirit is the true story of Salamo Arouch, a Greek-Jewish boxer imprisoned in Auschwitz during World War II. Arrested while attempting to help his family and friends escape the Nazi juggernaut, Arouch (Dafoe) is slated for extermination. He manages to survive--and to serve as an inspiration for his fellow inmates--by literally boxing for his life. He does this at the orders of his SS captors, who gamble on the outcome of Arouch's bouts. With each victory, Arouch is rewarded with extra bread rations, which he passes on to his family. Counterpointing the main story is the seemingly foredoomed romantic relationship between Arouch and female inmate Allegra (Wendy Gazelle). An uplifting coda rounds out this grim factual account. Triumph of the Spirit was filmed on location at Auschwitz--the first film of its kind to be lensed in that infamous locale.
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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Robert Loggia
as Father Arouch
Willem Dafoe
as Salamo Arouch
Kelly Wolf
as Elena
Costas Mandylor
as Avram Arouch
Hartmut Becker
as Maj. Rauscher
Tuvia Tavi
as Greek Prisoner
Wendy Gazelle
as Allegra
Jack Messinger
as Greek Prisoner
Michal Juszczakiewicz
as Sonderkammando
Jerzy Gralek
as Kapo Kyr
Avi Keidar
as Greek Prisoner
Lew Rywin
as Announcer
Danny Segev
as Greek Prisoner
Kario Salem
as Jacko Levy
Burkhard Heyl
as Aide to Rauscher
Teddy Atlas
as Silber
Anna Chitro
as Naomi
Halina Chrobak
as Clog Thief
Ewa Lesniak
as Kapo Hilda
Hanna Pater
as Prisoner Nurse
Maria Probosz
as Rauscher's Girl Friend
Ireneusz Tomczak
as Fratelli
Andrzej Wojaczek
as Kapo Otto
Stefania Zubrowna
as Dying Woman
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Critic Reviews for Triumph of the Spirit

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

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October 9, 2005
Fantastica Daily

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August 1, 2005

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May 18, 2005
Las Vegas Mercury

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August 20, 2003
Pasadena Weekly

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September 14, 2002

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July 13, 2002
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Triumph of the Spirit

A very confusing film. The story does capture your attention, but it's so poorly structured and paced that you stop caring about halfway through it. Then again, Dafoe, Olmos, and Loggia give strong enough performances that you start caring again. Director Robert Young seems more interested in heaping more and more drama on top of an already tragic and terrifying story, and sometimes the punches hit a lot less strong. But in the end, the film has some moving pieces, and might keep you interested.

Nathan Martin
Nathan Martin

An important & lessar known true Story about a Jewish Boxer,Salamo Arouch, who was used by the Nazi's during WWII as a Boxer.An involved story of his Families Struggles, his personal courage, & the cruelty of the war.

Marilee Aschwanden
Marilee Aschwanden

A poorly written and executed film, based on a heartbreaking, harrowing tale, is still a poorly written and executed film. The boxing scenes are actually this bomb's saving grace. Aside from that, "Triumph" is a term that's about as far from proplerly describing this as possible. Considering the powerful nature of the story, that seems hard to believe, but, behold! Here's the first film of which I am aware that does a total disservice to the plight of Jewish people during the Holocaust. Bad production values, and trite portrayals of both Germans and Jews make this move uninteresting.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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