History hasn’t been kind to humanity and Holocaust is a big example of this. Millions of innocent souls were killed, tortured and slaughtered during the Nazi Regime.
During the years that followed this time period has emerged out as an inspiration for many fictional and non fictional cinema.
Here is a list of some amazing movies made on Holocaust and Nazi Regime that take us on a trip to one of the darkest periods in history.
1) The Great Dictator
This satirical comedy is one of the finest works of the legend Charlie Chaplin. Released in the year 1940 when Nazis were at the peak of their power this movie took a parodical yet a true sad approach of their regime through the character Adenoid Hynkel a fascist dictator of Tomainia and a Jew Private Barber (both of them played by Chaplin). Throughout the movie various instances of crime, cruelty and stupidity are shown in an absolute comic way and the ending speech by Chaplin is regarded as one of the best movie speeches till date and completely justifies the purpose and idea of this film.
2) Schindler’s List
1994 best picture academy award winner schindler’s list is director Steven Spielberg’s one of the best works till date. Starring Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley this movie portrays a real life story of German industrialist Oskar Schindler who saves his employees and many other Jews by employing them in his factory. This war drama has been completely shot in black and white symbolizing the heinous crimes of the Nazi Regime. Based on the 1982 novel Schindler’s Ark this movie is considered as one of the best ever made in Hollywood.
3) Life is Beautiful
Often known as Italy’s national pride Roberto Benigni was awarded the 1999 academy award for best actor and best international feature film for this Italian comedy drama.
In this movie a Jewish man along with his 5 year old son is captured by the Nazi soldiers and in the concentration camps uses humor and portrays the whole scenario as a game competition to his 5 year old and saves him mentally and physically from the trauma of the atrocities and crimes being committed. The message of fatherly love is beautifully shown in this movie and the depiction of crimes through the eyes of a 5 year old is quite incredible.
4) The Pianist
When the examples of method acting throughout the cinema history are given Adrien Brody’s name is specially mentioned in that list. For his role in The Pianist he gave up everything in his life to feel the sense of loss and was eventually rewarded with the academy award for Best actor in the year 2003. The Pianist directed by Roman Polanski is based on a real life story of Polish- Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman (played by brody) who lost his family while escaping ghetto and termination camp during the Germany invasion of Poland. The movie focuses on his struggle of loosing, escaping, hiding and keeping himself alive during the darkest period in the European history.
5) The Boy In Striped Pajamas
The depiction of war through the eyes of children is not an easy task and this job was wonderfully carried out by the director Mark Herman.
This war drama based on a 2006 novel of the same name shows the story of friendship of two 9 year old boys, one whose father is a Nazi chief and the other who along with his father lives in the concentration camp. While both the kids do not figure out the situations surrounding them and have a perception of their own the movie marches towards a very sad and a heartbreaking depiction and ending.
6) Inglorious Bastards
Quentin Tarantino has a knack for taking the creative liberty in his movies by making the situations and endings more morally correct creating an alternate history. This movie focuses on a group of Jewish soldiers The Inglorious Bastards (based on a real life group of the same name) on a mission to take down the Nazi government while a woman is planning to avenge the death of her family from the Nazi soldiers. The depiction of war and atrocities is quite different in this movie from what we have seen throughout the years but still this movie does not fail to portray one of the darkest periods of European history.
7) Jojo Rabbit
When blind nationalism meets a naive mind of a 10 year old the outcome can be disastrous but director Taika Waititi has taken a quite humorous and comical approach on this. When Jojo (a 10 year old true believer and admirer of the Nazi policy) who has an imaginary friend Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi himself) finds out that his single mother is hiding a Jewish girl in the attic, he is made to confront and question his beliefs and false perception of the Jews. The depiction of Nazi culture and imaginary Adolf Hitler is quite humorous and sad at the same time. This movie brings out the importance of hope and good deeds in the darkest times.