A resounding testament to the resilience of the human spirit, Mark Jonathan Harris's chronicle of the Jewish diaspora across Europe in the wake of the Third Reich offers some timely perspective on a piece of Holocaust history that is often overlooked. For many
survivors, the liberation of the camps by Allied forces at the end of World War II may have marked the end of one nightmare, but it was only the beginning of another. Those who chose to return to the now emptied Jewish ghettos met with continued persecution and even death at the hands of their
neighbors, who viewed the survivors as the return of a "problem" they thought had been solved. Those living in the Allied-run Displaced Persons camps encountered conditions nearly as wretched as those of Dachau and Auschwitz. Faced with worldwide indifference and disdain, many refugees poured the
remnants of their hope into a dream of Palestine, the Promised Land, then under British colonial rule. The film painstakingly chronicles the fight to overturn Britain's stringent policy regarding immigration into Palestine as it developed into a plan for the U.N.-authorized partitioning of the
country into separate Arab and Jewish states. The emotionally shattering first hour of Harris's film makes a compelling argument in favor of the creation of an independent Jewish homeland, but as the second hour becomes more and more a lesson in geopolitical history without the benefit of an
intellectual exchange, it becomes clear that it's an argument Harris isn't interested in having. At its best, the film should help insure that sentiments such as the one Hermann Georing expressed during the trials at Nuremberg -- "The time will come when the world will think differently of this"
-- don't prove prophetic.
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: NR
- Review: A resounding testament to the resilience of the human spirit, Mark Jonathan Harris's chronicle of the Jewish diaspora across Europe in the wake of the Third Reich offers some timely perspective on a piece of Holocaust history that is often overlooked. For… (more)