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I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal
I Have Never Forgotten You The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal
Actor: Nicole Kidman
Genres: Documentary
PG-13     2007     1hr 45min

Studio: Starz/sphe Release Date: 09/11/2007 Run time: 106 minutes


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Movie Details

Actor: Nicole Kidman
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Biography
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 09/11/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Rick Shaq Goldstein | Danville, Ca, USA | 09/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a documentary of the life of famed "NAZI-HUNTER" Simon Wiesenthal. The viewer is led with painstaking detail from his youth, to the Holocaust, his survival, and the single-purposed life he dedicated himself to thereafter. My Grandparents fled Europe a step ahead of the anti-Semitic force that was engulfing Europe. My Grandfather like Mr. Wiesenthal was from the Austrian area. I was born at the end of the decade of the concentration camps and I was raised as a proud Jew with first hand tales of the systematic eradication of my people. Before it became a renowned phrase, I was taught the mantra of "NEVER AGAIN!" When I was but a young boy, and my Father took me to get my first suit, the tailor had the infamous "Nazi-death-serial number" tattooed on his forearm. Even as a child I never forgot!

Even after a lifetime of knowing the inhumane, Nazi brutality and debauchery, that was below the lowest savagery of any animal on this planet, it is still gut wrenching, especially in Simon's case when after being freed, he found out that " ALL EIGHTY-NINE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY HAD BEEN PUT TO DEATH BY THE NAZI'S!" Subsequently through unrelenting research Simon was blessed when he found that his wife had survived and they were reunited. Later you are saddened again in a way hard to describe, when Simon and his wife decide to have a child, and realize that the child will never have a Grandmother, Grandfather, or any Aunts of Uncles. Simon said he couldn't bring himself to tell his daughter at a young age why she was the only child in the neighborhood with no extended family. Simon went so far as to ask friends in different cities to call on holidays and pretend they were relatives.

Simon dedicated his entire life to tracking down Nazi war criminals and wound up tracking down over 1,100. One of them was Adolph Eichman, the main architect of Hitler's extermination plan. What is amazing to me, is how much Simon accomplished with so little international help and so little money. Simon not only tracked down these despicable criminals, but he also changed laws. Believe it or not there was an "expiration date" or statute of limitation on war criminals in Germany, Simon got that law changed. Throughout this riveting documentary, interspersed between his dogged determination to find war criminals, we're reminded of the horror of the Nazi insanity, such as when Simon takes us to a concentration camp where there were stone steps leading up to a 165 foot cliff and when a high ranking Nazi officer came to the camp they would entertain him by pushing hundreds of Jews off the cliff to their death. The satanic Nazi's called it "Parachuting". Near the end of this film, during a presentation of an award to Simon, he gives a speech, through anguished tears, telling the crowd in attendance: "I am not a hero! I am a survivor!" I had tears streaming down my face during this and other parts of this documentary, and I also had my anger. This documentary should be required viewing in every school in the world. I also think the CIA should kidnap the President of Iran and make him watch this. In summary all I can say is: "ANGER AND TEARS!""
Shedding a New Light on Justice and Tolerance
Serge J. Van Steenkiste | Atlanta, GA | 08/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Archival footage, interviews with people who knew Simon Wiesenthal, on-location photography, and narrative by Nicole Kidman make it possible for viewers to get a better appreciation for what Wiesenthal did in his lifetime to bring some justice to the victims of the Holocaust. The documentary mainly sticks to a chronological approach to Wiesenthal who is often known under the name of "Nazi hunter." The documentary contains some images that should not deter viewers to face the ugly side of human history.

To some people, Wiesenthal was seen as too "obsessed" with bringing the worst criminals of the Holocaust to justice. To others, Wiesenthal was a man who made a promise to himself and the other victims of this ignominious genocide that they would not be forgotten. Wiesenthal described himself as a researcher, not a hero, who was interested in the truth, not revenge. Wiesenthal stuck to the facts while he and his team were painstakingly building a case against the worst Nazi criminals. To his credit, Wiesenthal also made clear that he and his helpers were not at war with the children of Nazis like Adolf Eichmann, no matter what their parents did to them and their families. In addition, Wiesenthal did not make differences among the victims of the Holocaust, being Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, or other "undesirables" in the eyes of the Nazis and their collaborators.

The documentary clearly shows that Wiesenthal and his team were largely fighting a lonely battle against injustice until the successful prosecution and trial of Eichmann, the zealous executioner of the Endlösung or "Final Solution," in Israel in 1961 C.E. After the trials of the remaining top henchman of Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg in 1945 - 46 C.E., high point of the post-war "Denazification" campaign, and the advent of the Cold War, the victorious allies quickly lost much interest in prosecuting the worst Nazis. The allies found jobs for "useful" Nazis in the name of Realpolitik. The documentary also highlights how former members of the S.S. founded O.D.E.S.S.A (Organization Der Ehemaligen SS Angehörigen) in 1947 to facilitate the evasion of former Nazis out of Germany who had good reasons to fear human justice.

The documentary also covers the foundation of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 1977, whose documentary division, Moriah Films, produced "I Have Never Forgotten You - The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal." Simon Wiesenthal Center is a multifaceted, international Jewish human rights organization.

To its credit, the documentary does not hesitate to highlight some controversies in the life of Wiesenthal. Here follow a few examples. Wiesenthal's quest for justice had a heavy toll on his wife, Cyla, who also miraculously survived the Shoah, and on their only child, Paulinka. To her credit, Cyla stood by her husband's campaign to catch the worst Nazi criminals. Wiesenthal originally never thought that the prosecution of Nazi criminals would become a consuming and dangerous life pursuit. Furthermore, the documentary addresses the controversy that Wiesenthal was sometimes claiming too much credit for bringing some Nazi criminals to justice. In addition, the documentary highlights the "Kurt Waldheim affair" in which Wiesenthal was severely criticized for defending Waldheim who had knowledge of, but was not personally involved in the WWII crimes in the Balkans.

The legacy of Wiesenthal remains more relevant than ever. The Holocaust was not the last page in the lamentable catalog of human abuses. Wiesenthal rightly drew the attention of the world to the genocides taking place in Cambodia, Rwanda, and former Yugoslavia. Bringing justice to the victims of these abuses is not a luxury, but an imperative. Wiesenthal set a precedent in demonstrating with much success that impunity does not last forever.

Inspiring true story
MRT | Chicago | 09/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I guess it's beyond my comprehension how a human being could suffer so much during the most evil period of cruelty in mankind's existence, but this is exactly what Simon Wiesenthal did. He not only survived the unimaginable, but he went beyond that, and devoted the rest of his entire life to bringing the perpetrators to justice. This is a chilling, horrific and inspiring account of one man's journey from hell to criticism to heroism. There is much archival footage, and although it is very difficult to watch at times due to the nature of the Nazi atrocities, it is important to watch.

The film portrays this incredible man's life from his birth and childhood in a small Polish village, to horrors of the Holocaust which killed his beloved mother and entire family, until his liberation by the Americans, his work for them in capturing war criminals, which finally led him to set up this office on his own, with very little funding. He risked his life many times to bring these murderers to justice, and he not only did that, but he worked to inform the world of modern human genocide, such as that in Rawanda. It is not just the story of a man that helped capture Adolf Eichmann, but did so much more than that.

I also appreciate the additional look at his wife, Cyla, who also sufferred the threats to her life, and begged Simon to leave Vienna on many occassions. She never left him and stood with him until the day she died. This is also that touching love story as well. The film also includes interviews with Simon's only child, his daughter Paulinka, and her children.

The most important message that Simon left is that "we should never forget, less this happen again." If the Nazi's did anything, they showed us how incredibly evil and deluded that we, the human-race, can be. In people like Simon Wiesenthal, Raoul Wallenburg, Oscar Schindler, we have been shown that there can be great good in people as well. There lies some hope for the future.

I would only urge you to get "The Simon Wiesenthal Box Set" (here at It not only has this film, plus several others that were released from the production company for the Simon Wiesethal Center."
This is truly great.
Jonathan Yoder | DC | 10/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have no words to describe the greatness of this documentary on the life of Simon Wiesenthal. I have read many Holocaust memoirs and seen many Holocaust documentaries and films. I spent a month in Israel as a high school student, and my mother spent a year there when she was a young woman. The life and work of this man, Simon Wiesenthal, does justice to all who suffered and perished in the Holocaust. And this documentary, just a small disc you put in a small player, is a great monument. I have already planned to give it as a gift to several people."