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18TH DENVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

October 11 - 20, 1995, Denver, CO (USA)

"THE ART OF REMEMBRANCE - SIMON WIESENTHAL"
Hannah Heer & Werner Schmiedel
1994/95, 16 mm, 99 min.

"Whoever denies the crimes and the genocide of the past paves the way for the murders of the future." This philosophy has been the basis for the life of the remarkable man who is the subject of this powerful documentary. Simon Wiesenthal, a survivor of the Holocaust, has dedicated his life to bringing to light the crimes of the Nazi regime, and bringing to justice individuals who committed "crimes against humanity" under that regime. The filmmakers chose their subject in response to the rise of right-wing extremism in Europe. They felt that had Wiesenthal's example been given greater exposure, this phenomenon might have been avoided. They were given unprecedented access to this pioneer of the human rights movement, despite his hectic schedule, and spent two years making this film biography, as they travelled with him to nine different countries. The film traces Wiesenthal's life from his childhood in Galicia through his ordeal in Nazi concentration camps to his post-war dedication to keeping alive the memory of those who did not survive the genocide. Wiesenthal's colleagues, friends -- and enemies -- offer insights in numerous interviews, which are mixed with innovative visual and aural documentary techniques. In a world in which, 50 years after World War II and the Holocaust, "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia and genocide in Rwanda, East Timor, and Central America can still occur, this is a work of profound importance and relevance, as well as a loving tribute to an extraordinary individual.



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