THE SURVIVOR (TIFF2021) – Review by Leslie Combebale

It’s strange to say that a film based around the Holocaust is hopeful, but it’s true. Barry Levinson’s The Survivor is based on the real life story of Hertzko Haft, a jewish boxer who survived Auschwitz by fighting 76 brutal life or death matches against other Jewish prisoners, only to carry that trauma into his postwar life. As Haft, Ben Foster is the best he’s ever been. The Survivor is hopeful, in part, because Levinson has a way of finding the balance between darkness and light in his movies, and in part because the Jews of the world didn’t come out of the Holocaust without reaching for hope.

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