I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life & Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal

"Excellent"

I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life & Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal Review


The funny thing about Simon Wiesenthal, a man who will be forever remembered as a champion of justice, is that he spent a lot of time trying to get people to forget him. A mild-mannered man with a weepy right eye and a jovial smile, Wiesenthal waged a lifelong battle against those who sough to lionize him and take the spotlight off the horror of the Holocaust. Wiesenthal was, in every sense, a medium -- haunted by those who perished in the Shoah, he lent his body, his every waking moment, to seek justice for the victims of the Nazis who were never found.

A production of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in L.A. and narrated by Nicole Kidman (the center's production company, Moriah Films, has teamed up with numerous stars -- Morgan Freeman, Kevin Costner -- to document anti-Semitism and intolerance), I Have Never Forgotten You showcases Wiesenthal's achievements with vintage news clips and recent interviews. Wiesenthal was in the spotlight for so long, the body of video and film material available here is staggering. (He appeared in interviews with every major American and European broadcaster.) And while there is very little controversy in the film -- but much in Wiesenthal's life -- I Have Never Forgotten You brilliantly captures the warmth and determination of this extraordinary man.

Born and raised in a small village in Poland (so small it rarely appears on maps), Wiesenthal's Jewish family was under attack from anti-Semites from the time he was a schoolboy. Graduating with a degree in architecture and marrying his high school sweetheart, Wiesenthal settled down in Austria with the hope of a good career and a family. When Hitler rose to power that all changed very quickly. Separated from his wife, Wiesenthal was dragged through nearly every concentration camp over the course of the war and in each witnessed horrors unimaginable. He lived and so did his wife, but every other member of his family was murdered. Remaining in Austria, Wiesenthal worked with the Americans gathering information to convict Nazi war criminals. When the American courts closed, Wiesenthal continued the hunt. And he continued for over five decades, tracking down Nazis and bringing them to trial.

Some of the more celebrated and notorious captures are in evidence here: Eichmann, Karl Silberbauer (who arrested Anne Frank), Franz Stangl and Hermine Braunsteiner-Ryan. These events are documented with archival newsclips and photos and while they are exciting incidents, the film -- to its benefit -- never panders. Of the many interviews, Sir Ben Kingsley (having played Wiesenthal in an HBO movie) offers some of the more gripping and powerful statements about Wiesenthal. He genuinely seems to have understood the profound sense of grief that drove this man.

There certainly will never be another man like Simon Wiesenthal. While he never wanted to be thought of as a hero -- existing only as an instrument of justice -- Wiesenthal will be forever remembered as someone who embodied everything our culture considers heroic.



I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life & Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Thursday 1st March 2007

Distributed by: Luminous Velocity

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Richard Trank

Producer: Richard Trank, Marvin Hier

Starring: as Narrator, Simon Wiesenthal as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.