sat 10/04/2021

Holocaust

Mamzer Bastard, Royal Opera, Hackney Empire review - inert Hasidic music-drama

Striking it lucky with a successful new opera is a rare occurrence, though every company has a duty to keep on trying. The Royal Opera hit the jackpot with 4.48 Psychosis, a highly original approach to Sarah Kane's profound and authentic play by...

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John Gray: Seven Types of Atheism review - to believe, or not to believe

To suggest an absence is to imply a presence. Philosophers, novelists, dictators, politicians – as well as almost every “ism” you can think of – take the stage in this absorbing, precisely and elegantly written study of various kinds of atheism. All...

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Destination Unknown review - Holocaust survivors go back

Destination Unknown is a passion project 13 years in production, a documentary featuring moving interviews with a dozen Jewish survivors of Nazi persecution. Elderly men and women describe what happened to them and their families during the war. We...

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All Our Children review - shameful historical period horrifies anew

How do you tell a story as complex as the eugenics movement, which is pursued afresh in writer-director Stephen Unwin's new play All Our Children? Its idealistic origins lie in Britain with Francis Galton in 1883, before leading to forced...

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DVD/Blu-ray: German Concentration Camps Factual Survey

This is an impeccably restored presentation of the 1945 feature-length documentary that was intended to be shown in German cinemas in order to counter any remaining support for Nazism. Backed by the British Ministry of Information, it was overseen...

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The Promise review - genocide reduced to melodrama

The Armenian genocide by the Ottomans during and after World War One killed 1.5 million people and is a wound that won’t heal for Armenians, though modern-day Turkey continues to insist that no genocide occurred. It’s only through the efforts of...

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The private life of Stefan Zweig in England

On 23 February 1942 at half past four in the afternoon in a secluded Brazilian hilltown called Petrópolis about an hour from Rio, a maid and her husband pushed at the bedroom door of a modest rented house. Despite the late hour, the tenants had not...

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Denial

As alternative facts go, few are as grievous as the assertion that the Holocaust didn't happen. That's the claim on which the British historian (I use that word advisedly) David Irving has staked an entire career. Its day in court provides...

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DVD: The Shop on the High Street

There will surely be no end to the debate as to how any work of art can approach treating the Holocaust, and its depiction in cinema, with the great immediacy of that form, has always been especially problematic. Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos’s 1965 film...

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Haïm: In the Light of a Violin, The Print Room

On the face of it, there is nothing in this tightly focused little piece that says anything new about the Holocaust. The plight of a poor Jewish boy unfortunate enough to be growing up in 1930s Poland is dismally familiar. The story of life-...

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Son of Saul

In the world of the concentration camp, clothes or the lack of them sealed your fate. What you wore marked out your role; whether it was the blue-gray Waffen SS uniform, a doctor’s grubby white coat, the striped suits given to slave-workers, or your...

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Experimenter

If an authority figure ordered you to inflict pain on another person, to what extent would you comply? That is the subject of Experimenter, which focuses on Stanley Milgram's controversial obedience experiment. Unable to secure a theatrical run in...

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