Fighter | Chicago Reader

Fighter

Jan Wiener, a Czech Jew who escaped the Holocaust, retraces his escape route across Europe, accompanied by his friend and countryman Arnost Lustig, a concentration camp survivor. The fact that this sounds vaguely like the premise for a Hollywood buddy movie might explain why Amir Bar-Lev's 2001 documentary seems so artificial and the elderly pair's worsening quarrels more inevitable than surprising. Yet the film does offer a good deal of engaging dark humor, and the men's stories (Wiener's father committed suicide, possibly to help his son escape, while Lustig's father howled with laughter at Hitler's speeches and wound up being gassed) exemplify the unfathomable contradictions of the Shoah. In Czech with subtitles. 86 min.

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