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Best Holocaust Movies on Netflix

Exploring the Best Holocaust Movies on Netflix: Powerful Stories of Tragedy, Survival, and Hope

By Anas SheikhPublished 9 months ago 8 min read
The New York Times

The Holocaust was one of the darkest moments in human history, and movies that explore this tragedy can be difficult to watch but are important for us to remember the horrors of that time. Netflix has a collection of powerful and moving Holocaust movies that we can watch from the comfort of our homes. In this article, we will explore the best Holocaust movies on Netflix and delve into their plots, characters, and production.

Read More Best Movies About the Holocaust on Netflix

Schindler’s List: A Masterpiece of Holocaust Cinema

The Plot

Schindler’s List is a 1993 American film directed by Steven Spielberg that tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. The film is based on the true story of Schindler and his efforts to protect his Jewish workers from being taken to concentration camps.

The Cast

The movie features Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, Ralph Fiennes as the sadistic Nazi officer Amon Göth, and Ben Kingsley as Schindler's Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern.

The Production

The production of Schindler’s List was challenging, both emotionally and financially. Spielberg decided to shoot the film in black and white to give it a more documentary-like feel and to honor the memory of the Holocaust victims. The movie was a critical and commercial success, winning seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

The Pianist: A Tale of Survival and Hope

Overview of the Movie

The Pianist is a 2002 film directed by Roman Polanski that tells the true story of Władysław Szpilman, a Polish-Jewish pianist who survived the Warsaw ghetto and Nazi occupation during World War II. The movie is based on Szpilman's memoir of the same name.

The Cast and Characters

The movie features Adrien Brody in the lead role of Szpilman, a talented musician who struggles to survive in the face of oppression, starvation, and loss. The supporting cast includes Thomas Kretschmann as Captain Wilm Hosenfeld, a German officer who shows compassion and humanity towards Szpilman, and Maureen Lipman as Rakoczy, a Jewish woman who helps Szpilman hide from the Nazis.

The Making of the Movie

The Pianist was a challenging film to make, with Polanski insisting on shooting on location in Warsaw to maintain the authenticity of the story. The movie was widely praised for its performances, direction, and cinematography, winning three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Brody.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: A Heartbreaking Story of Innocence

The Premise of the Movie

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a 2008 film directed by Mark Herman that tells the story of two young boys during the Holocaust: Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, and Shmuel, a Jewish boy imprisoned in a concentration camp.

The Cast and Their Performances

The movie features Asa Butterfield as Bruno and Jack Scanlon as Shmuel, both of whom give excellent performances in their respective roles. The supporting cast includes David Thewlis as Bruno's father, Vera Farmiga as his mother, and Rupert Friend as a sympathetic lieutenant.

The Impact of the Movie

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a heartbreaking story of innocence that has resonated with audiences around the world. The film, based on John Boyne's novel of the same name, highlights the devastating impact of prejudice and hate and serves as a reminder to never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust.

The Zookeeper’s Wife: A Heroic Effort to Save Lives

The Storyline and Historical Background

The Zookeeper's Wife is a 2017 film directed by Niki Caro that tells the true story of Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who saved the lives of hundreds of Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland. The Zabinskis used their Warsaw Zoo as a hiding place for Jewish refugees.

The Cast and Their Roles

The movie features Jessica Chastain as Antonina Zabinski, a kind-hearted animal lover who risks her life to save others. Johan Heldenbergh plays her husband, Jan, a zookeeper and member of the Polish resistance. The supporting cast includes Daniel Brühl a Nazi zoologist who threatens the Zabinskis' secret operation.

Visuals and Cinematography

The Zookeeper's Wife is visually stunning, with beautiful cinematography that captures the beauty of the zoo before it was destroyed by the war. The film was praised for its performances, direction, and powerful message of hope in the face of tragedy.

Son of Saul: A Brutal Depiction of Life in Concentration Camps

Son of Saul is a gripping and intense Holocaust movie that takes a hard look at the lives of Jews in concentration camps. The movie follows Saul, a Sonderkommando, who is forced to help the Nazis exterminate Jews. One day, he discovers the body of a young boy whom he believes to be his son. The rest of the movie is a desperate attempt by Saul to give the boy a proper burial and make amends for his own role in the atrocities.

The Plot and Themes

The plot of Son of Saul is a deeply emotional portrayal of the trauma that Jews suffered during the Holocaust. It also deals with themes like guilt, redemption, and the importance of giving dignity to those who have been dehumanized. The movie is unflinching in its portrayal of the brutality and horror of life in concentration camps.

The Cast and Acting

Géza Röhrig, who plays Saul, delivers a stunning performance in the movie. He brings a quiet intensity to the role that perfectly captures the emotional turmoil that Saul is going through. The supporting cast is also excellent, especially Levente Molnár, who plays Abraham, a fellow Sonderkommando.

The Director's Vision

Director László Nemes has created a masterpiece with Son of Saul. His vision for the movie was to create an immersive experience that would put audiences in the shoes of a Sonderkommando. The result is a movie that is as much an emotional experience as it is a visual one. Nemes uses long takes and a close-up camera technique to give the audience a sense of claustrophobia and the feeling of being trapped in a nightmare.

The Photographer of Mauthausen: A Story of Resistance and Escape

The Photographer of Mauthausen is a true story of the Spanish photographer Francisco Boix, who was imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp during World War II. The movie follows Boix's journey as he becomes a part of the resistance movement within the camp and embarks on a daring escape plan.

The Overview of the Movie

The Photographer of Mauthausen is a story of hope and resilience in the face of unimaginable horror. It is a reminder of the power of the human spirit to triumph over even the most dire circumstances.

The Cast and Characters

Mario Casas delivers a powerful performance as Francisco Boix. He perfectly captures the courage and determination of the real-life photographer. The supporting cast is also excellent, with Macarena Gómez, Richard van Weyden, and Adrian Lastra giving standout performances.

The Challenges of Filming

Filming a movie about the Holocaust is never easy, and The Photographer of Mauthausen was no exception. Director Mar Targarona and her team faced the difficult task of accurately portraying the horrors of the concentration camps while still telling a compelling story. The result is a movie that is both harrowing and inspiring.

Remember: A Thrilling Hunt for a Nazi War Criminal

Remember follows the story of Zev Guttman, an Auschwitz survivor suffering from dementia. He sets out on a mission to find and kill the Nazi officer who killed his family during the war.

The Storyline and Themes

Remember is a thrilling and tense movie that deals with themes like guilt, revenge, and the dangers of denying history. It is a powerful reminder of the importance of remembering the past, even when it is painful.

The Cast and Their Performances

Christopher Plummer gives a stellar performance as Zev, the main character. He effortlessly conveys the emotional turmoil of a man grappling with his past and struggling to come to terms with his present. The rest of the cast, including Martin Landau and Dean Norris, are also excellent.

The Reception of the Movie

Remember was generally well-received by critics and audiences. Many praised Plummer's performance and the movie's tense and gripping storyline. However, some criticized the movie's ending, which has been called both surprising and underwhelming. Nonetheless, Remember is still a must-watch for anyone interested in Holocaust movies.The movies on this list are not easy to watch, but they are all powerful and moving depictions of one of the darkest periods in human history. They are a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of remembering the atrocities of the past. By watching these films, we honor the memories of the victims and vow to never forget the lessons of the past.


Are these movies suitable for all ages?

No, these movies are not suitable for children due to their mature themes, violence, and strong language. Parents are advised to use their discretion when allowing children to watch these movies.

Are these movies historically accurate?

While some movies may take creative liberties, they are generally based on true events and have been researched and verified for historical accuracy.

Why is it important to watch these movies?

The Holocaust was one of the darkest periods in human history, and it is important for us to remember the atrocities that occurred during that time so that we can prevent similar events from happening in the future.

Are there any other Holocaust movies on Netflix?

Yes, there are many other Holocaust movies that are available on Netflix. These are just a few of the best options that we have compiled for you.


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