There are many movies that tell so called true stories of certain events in history. There are many movies that are compelling, especially those that are dramatizations of historic tragedies. No movies are more compelling than those based on the atrocities that occurred during World War II and the Nazi regime. There are few stories that tell of courage and survival for those that lived through such horror.
One of those movies is Escape from Sobibor, a film about one of the most successful Jewish uprising against one of the German concentration camps. The success of the Treblinka escape caused several members of the camp to realize they may not live to see another day. In the truth of the escape, there were 600 prisoners who tried and 300 would make it out, though many were recaptured and killed at a later date. However, it was this escape that forced the Nazis to close the death camp and dismantling it.
The movie stars Alan Akin, Rutger Hauer, and Hartman Becker.
The story begins with a historical overview of how the camp began, as well as its part of the Nazi regime to eradicate the Jewish people. The next scene shows that a few of the younger men have devised a way to escape. Leon (Akin) overhears them and warns them that they are asking for trouble. However, the young men try it anyway, but are quickly shot down. However, as we learn later, there are still plans to escape.
The German commanders round up the prisoners to tell them another train is coming, with more Jews. We are presented with the standard of those coming into the camps – the separation of the men, women, and children, and those separated for work and then going off to the showers. Itzhak (Jack Shepard) is one of the new prisoners from the train, who is separated from his wife and young son, when Sgt. Wagner (Becker) decides not to use her skills as a seamstress.
As the movie unfolds, we learn that Leon is the undisputed leader of the camp and is in charge of the rebellion, as well as the man who tries to keep the group together. He breaks up the fighting when possible, delivering a speech on how they are letting the nazis control them enough to start infighting.
There are two great scenes with this character – the first being when he has to explain to Itzhak what the showers are and what has become of his young family and then explaining to a young goldsmith the reason they can try and to put on a happy face.
For an historical drama, there are plenty of scenes that demonstrate the horror of the Holocaust and the struggles those who were at the camp went through. So often these types of movies are overdramatized, but Escape seems to reflect a good representation of the event, making the viewer even angrier with the event against so many people. However, it’s not all gloom; those who have lost someone find romance and love. While this may seem like some silver lining in the midst of something terrible, it some form of hope within a gloomy existence.
Some of the scenes are of course disturbing, everything from seeing and hearing the screams from the showers, seeing those who try to make escape attempts, and of course the flight from the camp. It does a good job of showing that not just the Jewish peoples from Germany, from those from Holland, and even POWs from Russian were sent to these camps and it was the teamwork of all of these people in which those camps were able to escape and able to stay hidden from the Nazis.
World War II history buffs will enjoy the movie for its near genuine portrayal of life and the escape here.
Those who want to learn more about this time period would enjoy the movie, if just to give a bit of insight in to a portion of history some would rather forget.
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Filed Under: Movie Reviews