The Holocaust is one of the biggest genocides of the 20th century that has left a huge impact on world history. Many movies have been made that seek to capture the horror of the event. Finding Manny is an hour-long documentary directed by Kacey Cox that gives a glimpse into the life of Holocaust survivor Manny Drukier. The movie is inspired by Drukier’s personal memoir Carved in Stone.
When Manny was just 11 years old, the Second World War broke out. Though he went into hiding, the Nazis soon caught him. He spent a few years being sent to a number of concentration camps spread over three nations. This included the infamous Buchenwald camp. Throughout this time, Manny saw the horrors unleashed by the Nazis — numerous innocent people were killed off, some through starvation and some by extermination. He also spent some time in a forced labor camp that had a low survival rate. Despite these challenging experiences, Manny succeeded in escaping detainment and boarded a train to freedom. He later found refuge in an orphanage at the age of 16.
In the documentary, Manny is now a nonagenarian who lives in Toronto. His family convinces him to travel to the places where he experienced the horrors of the Holocaust. After a German researcher invites him to visit the orphanage and share his story with the new generation, Manny decides to make the trip. The film basically follows Manny as he visits Germany, Poland, and Austria, checking out the concentration camps where he spent time as a youngster.
The documentary is worth a watch as it gives a first-hand account of how victims of the Holocaust got through one of the worst periods of their life. The film won the Best Documentary Feature at the Moving Parts Film Festival 2020 and has received the appreciation of numerous critics and audience members. “It’s got elements of laughter and tears and intrigue… It’s heart-warming. It’s a good film to watch on opening night,” a person who watched the movie said to The Fayetteville Observer.
Top holocaust movies
Schindler’s List (1993): Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film narrates the real-life story of Oskar Schindler. He is initially a Nazi supporter but soon ends up sympathizing with the Jews after seeing the dead body of a little girl. He saves the lives of 1,200 Jews, thus proving that human values can overcome prejudice and hatred. The movie was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won 7 of them.
Life is Beautiful (1997): What makes the movie stand out from the rest of the Holocaust films is that it successfully blends comedy and tragedy. The story is about a Jewish bookshop owner who shields his son from the horrifying reality of the concentration camp by using imagination. You will laugh and sob as the story advances. Life is Beautiful won 3 Academy awards.
The Pianist (2002): This movie is based on the life of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Jewish pianist who is separated from his family. He later supports a Jewish revolt and is eventually forced to live by relying on others for food and other necessities. Directed by Roman Polanski, the movie won 3 Oscars, with lead actor Adrien Brody nabbing the award for Best Actor.