Top 10 Holocaust Films

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6. Sophie’s Choice (1982):

Meryl Streep really did deserve an Oscar for her role in this Nazi resistance film. The film is based on the book of the same name written by William Styron. The main character begins to reveal her traumatic past with the Holocaust. The most heart wrenching scene Sophie describes is when she is forced to choose between two children; a choice which ultimately is a life and death one. The film was ranked # 1 by Roger Ebert in the Best Films of 1982.


7. The Grey Zone (2001):

Many individuals look at events through a black and white viewpoint. They fail to examine the grey area between the two colours. Primo Levy in his book, The Drowned and the Saved examined a soccer game between prisoners and SS commanders. The lines between black and white were being blurred. You could never really tell who was the bad or good guy? The film expands on this notion and looks at Jewish Sonderkommando who were forced to assist Nazis in the extermination process.


8. Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987):

The film is based on the events that transpired in Louis Malle’s (writer, director and producer) life. The film examines a personal account of the deportation of 3 Jewish Boys and their teacher to a death camp in Auschwitz where they were all gassed. The headmaster, who helped hide them, was arrested as a result. The film was well received and had positive ratings. It won the Golden Lion Award at the 1987 Venice Film Festival. At the Cesar awards it won in 7 categories in 1988.


9. Murderers are Among Us “Die Mörder sind unter uns” (1945):

Created by East Germans, this film looks at the aftermath of the Holocaust. It centers around 3 characters: A former Nazi (Bruckner), a German soldier (Borchert) and a concentration camp survivor (Wallner). After coming back from war, Borchert occupies an apartment once occupied by Wallner. When Wallner returns, both she and Borchert are forced to live together, despite differences. The storyline evolves as Borchert tries to kill Bruckner for his role in the annihilation of Jews. A moral debate between him and Wallner ensues where Borchert makes a life and death choice. The whole film is meaningful and deserves to be on the top 10 list because it was shot in the Berlin ruins and was filmed right after the war ended.


10. Paragraph 175:

In the Third Reich sodomy and homosexuality were prohibited under Paragraph 175. Individuals were often jailed and killed if they were found engaging in what Nazis believed was criminal. Of the 100,000 homosexuals arrested, 4000 survived. This movie examines the lives of homosexual men/women who were persecuted by the Third Reich. It won the Teddy Award for the best documentary film.

There are no best movies that describe the Holocaust. Each movie gives a different view and sheds light in a different way. This is just one list I compiled so far.


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