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

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

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.