The Joan-Sourasky Constantiner Jewish & Holocaust Cinema Collection

The Eighty First Blow

117 Minutes, 1974
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Production Company:Ghetto Fighters' House
Languages: Hebrew, ,
Subtitles: English

The first part of Haim Gouri, Jacques Ehrlich, and David Bergman’s Holocaust trilogy. The film traces Hitler’s and the Nazis’ rise to power in Germany, the persecution of the Jews, and their subsequent mass murder in the Holocaust. The film is made up of archive footage and though the survivors’ testimonials are heard in the background in the form of voiceover narration, their faces are never seen. The film’s title, The 81st Blow, is based on the testimony of Michael (Mickey) Goldman – a Holocaust survivor and later, an investigative police officer who was also the assistant to Attorney General, Gideon Hausner; the Israeli state prosecutor during the Eichmann trial. During the trial, whilst Dr. Buzminsky, a dentist and survivor of the Przemyśl Ghetto was giving evidence, he recalled a Jewish teen who had been whipped 80 times by a Nazi officer. The boy was identified as Michael Goldman who, years later would say that the 81st blow he suffered was at the hands of Israel whose people closed their hearts and turned their backs on the Holocaust survivors who had moved to Israel. The 81st Blow earned an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Film category. (No Subtitles)

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