spacetime coordinates: 1939 – 1945 Warsaw, Poland
The Zookeeper’s Wife is a 2017 war drama film directed by Niki Caro and written by Angela Workman, based on Diane Ackerman’s non-fiction book The Zookeeper’s Wife, (which relied heavily on the diaries of Antonina Żabińska, published in Poland as Ludzie i zwierzęta translated as: People and Animals 1968)., recounting the rescue of Jews from the Nazi invasion. The film stars Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Michael McElhatton and Daniel Brühl.
spacetime coordinates: 1943 Byelorussia
(this one’s heavy)
Come and See (Russian: Иди и смотри, Idi i smotri; Belarusian: Ідзі і глядзі, Idzi i hlyadzi) is a 1985 Soviet war drama film directed by Elem Klimov about, and occurring during, the Nazi German occupation of the Belorussian SSR. Aleksei Kravchenko and Olga Mironova star as the protagonists Florya and Glasha. The screenplay by Klimov and Ales Adamovich had to wait eight years for approval; the film was finally produced to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II.
Come and See Glasha Dancing
spacetime coordinates: June 1943 – July 1944 Lwów city, Poland
(this one’s heavy)
In Darkness (Polish: W ciemności) is a 2011 Polish drama film directed by Agnieszka Holland. Dedicated to Marek Edelman, the film is a Polish-German-Canadian coproduction, with a screenplay by Canadian writer David F. Shamoon. In Darkness is based on the book In the Sewers of Lvov (1990) by Robert Marshall. The only living survivor of the group, Krystyna Chiger, has written a memoir of her experience, The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust’s Shadow (2008), which was published too late to be a source
Based on true events during German occupation of Poland, the film tells a story of Leopold Socha, a sewer worker in the then Polish city of Lwów (taken after World War II by the Soviet Union, and now part of Ukraine), who used his knowledge of the city’s sewer system to shelter a group of Jews escaped from Lwów’s ghetto during the German extermination of Jewish people.
“‘These were terrible times’: the true story behind In Darkness”
spacetime coordinates: Kraków during World War II
Schindler’s List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally. The film relates a period in the life of Oskar Schindler, an ethnic German businessman, during which he saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It stars Liam Neeson as Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as SS officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern.
Due to the increased interest in Kraków created by the film, the city bought Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory in 2007 to create a permanent exhibition about the German occupation of the city from 1939 to 1945. The museum opened in June 2010.
spacetime coordinate: April – May 1945, Germany / Battle of Berlin / the Führerbunker
Downfall (German: Der Untergang) is a 2004 German-Italian-Austrian historical war drama film depicting the final 12 days of Adolf Hitler‘s rule over Nazi Germany in 1945. It was based on several histories of the period.
The film begins with an excerpt from the documentary Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary (2002), featuring the real Traudl Junge expressing her guilt and shame for admiring Hitler in her youth. The film continues showing Hitler (Bruno Ganz) hiring Junge (Alexandra Maria Lara) as his secretary at the Wolf’s Lair in East Prussia in November 1942.
The story resumes on 20 April 1945, the Führer’s birthday, during the Battle of Berlin.