Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Last Stage (Wanda Jakubowska, 1948)

***½
Poland



Shortly after liberation, Auschwitz survivor Wanda Jakubowska returned to the actual camp to recount her experiences in a stark, searing semi-documentary style that has a lot in common with the neo-realists. The scenes showing the heartless Nazis behind closed doors are awkwardly caricaturish in contrast to the immediacy of the prisoners' plight. But sixty years and countless generic, borderline-exploitative Holocaust melodramas later, the film's impact hasn't been diluted.

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