Watch The Last Days
- 1 hr 27 min
The Last Days is a powerful and emotional documentary that tells the story of the Holocaust through the eyes of five Hungarian Jews who survived it. The film was produced and directed by James Moll, and won the 1999 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The Last Days begins with a brief overview of the Holocaust, setting the stage for the individual stories of the survivors. The first survivor we meet is Irene Zisblatt, who was just 13 years old when she was sent to Auschwitz. Irene describes the horrors she witnessed, and the incredible luck that allowed her to survive. She even tells the story of how she managed to smuggle four diamonds out of the concentration camp in the most unlikely of places.
Next, we meet Renee Firestone, who was 20 years old when she was taken to Auschwitz. Despite her harrowing experiences, Renee remains deeply compassionate and hopeful. She shares her story with warmth and humor, recounting the moments of kindness that kept her going in the darkest of times.
Throughout the film, we also hear from Bill Basch, Martin Basch, and Tom Lantos, who all survived the Holocaust in Hungary. Each of their stories is unique, but they share a common thread of resilience and bravery in the face of unspeakable cruelty.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of The Last Days is the way it humanizes the victims of the Holocaust. We see these survivors not just as statistics or victims, but as complex individuals with rich lives and personalities. We learn about their families, their passions, and their dreams. We see photographs and home movies of them before the war, and it becomes clear that these were not just faceless masses of people being carted off to their deaths. They were real, vibrant human beings who had full lives before they were marked for extermination.
The Last Days also touches on the complexity of trauma and memory. All of the survivors struggle with the memories of their experiences, and many grapple with feelings of guilt about having survived when so many others did not. We see how the trauma of the Holocaust has rippled through generations, affecting the survivors' children and grandchildren.
The film is shot beautifully, with sweeping aerial shots of the concentration camps and intimate close-ups of the survivors' faces. The haunting score, composed by Hans Zimmer, adds to the emotional weight of the film.
Overall, The Last Days is an incredibly powerful and moving film. It serves as both a tribute to the incredible resilience of the human spirit and a warning of the dangers of hatred and intolerance. It is a reminder that, even in the darkest of times, hope and humanity can still shine through.
The Last Days is a 1998 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9 and a MetaScore of 85.