Remembrance day 2021: cinema remembers the genocide

A little girl’s red coat in a black and white world (Schinder’s List) and a Jewish father who tells his son about the concentration camps as if they were a game (Life is Beautiful): these are two of the images that have left their mark on the cinema. And today they return, along with many others, on the occasion of the Remembrance Day, on January 27, but on the small screen. The date, which honors the victims of the Holocaust, revolutionizes the schedules of television networks as well as adding to the themed offer of streaming platforms.
Not to forget one of the darkest pages of modern history Sky Cinema Collection dedicates the entire week 25-29 January to the theme, with the first TV of Lessons of Persian (27 on Sky Cinema Due), a Belarusian film that tells of a Jewish man in a concentration camp who pretends to come from Iran and is therefore forced to teach Persian to a Nazi. Rai 3 tells of the Shoah with a live show from the Argentina Theater in Rome on the 27th while the 31st comes to life Quirinal Concert with the Alraune Ensemble.
Mediaset also changes its skin for the Day of Remembrance: Canale 5 proposes The pianist (27th), The lady from the Warsaw Zoo (28) and the unpublished documentary The Windermere Boys: in their own words (31st), while Rete 4 broadcasts This must be the place (27) by Paolo Sorrentino with Sean Penn, also available on Amazon Prime Video.

Here, then, five streaming titles that tell the Nazi horror in a different form but with great depth


The resistance banker is one of those silent and anonymous figures who rowed against Hitler’s advance without blatant gestures but undermining his advance underground. The protagonist, in fact, of this true story is a family of bankers from Amsterdam who undoubtedly parade money under the eyes of the Nazis to subsidize a secret institution to fight the regime with the most powerful weapon. Also Operation Final, always available on the platform, is inspired by true facts that retrace the manhunt to track down the Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann.

The banker of the resistance

2. JOJO RABBIT (RakutenTV)

Born from the brilliant creativity of Taika Waititi, JoJo Rabbit reworked the novel The sky in a cage, the story of JoJo Rabbit surreal traces the story of a German child, JoJo. The little, fervent Nazi, has Adolf Hitler as an imaginary friend but is unaware that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) hosts a Jewish girl in their home. From hatred to distrust, JoJo takes a painful and surprising path of awareness. The result is a poetic and heart-breaking film told from the unsettling point of view of two little “survivors”. The RakutenTV catalog includes other powerful titles linked to the imaginary of children from Schindler’s List to Run boy run (about Srulik who escapes from the Warsaw ghetto at the age of eight), from Fanny’s journey based on the autobiography of the same name by Fanny Ben-Ami, who as a child was sent to the colony to escape the racist roundups.

3. #ANNEFRANK – PARALLEL LIVES (Amazon Prime Video)

Helen Mirren tells five stories of women who survived the concentration camp and tell it on the soundtrack of Lele Marchitelli. The documentary written and directed by Sabina Fedeli and Anna Migotto was made for the 90th anniversary of the birth of Anne Frank, whose book changed the narrative of Nazism forever. The stories told are very similar to what she lived because the protagonists are her peers and face these horrors with a very similar courage. Besides #Anne Frank. Parallel lives, the platform offers other high-impact stories from the series Holocaust with Meryl Streep on the film The truth denied with Rachel Weisz who contrasts the theses of a historian with those of a Holocaust denier.

Anne Frank. Parallel lives


Among other Netflix titles, the one dedicated to another historical figure that really existed stands out, The photographer from Mauthausen, a Catalan prisoner, Francisco Boix, in a lager who steals the negatives of the images taken inside the camp as evidence of the abuses of the place, prostitution, torture, experiments and murders. Among the documentaries on the subject, however, Nazi Concentration Camps, which brings back to life footage of the release of prisoners from some camps.

The photographer from Mauthausen


Story of a book thief is the adaptation of the novel of the same name by Markus Zusak and tells of Liesel (played by the talented Sophie Nelisse) who, at 9, takes refuge from the Nazi horrors thanks to the beauty of reading, even if at the beginning of the story he is illiterate. Hans and Rosa, the adults in his life, become the adoptive parents: played by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, save the baby from the abandonment of her mother, a woman who escaped from the Nazis. Thanks to Rudy’s friendship she learns to read and is overwhelmed by the wonder of fiction but she soon realizes that the Führer bans many books, indeed he literally burns them at the stake. The protagonist cannot stand it and performs a revolutionary act, saving one. This is how his journey-mission begins, which gives meaning to his life and becomes a real anchor of salvation.

Story of a book thief

© Jules Heath

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