Long Is the Road | Chicago Reader

Long Is the Road

Described as the first feature to depict the Holocaust from a Jewish perspective, this 1948 film made in occupied Germany and partly shot in a displaced-persons camp mixes newsreels with fiction footage and has a film noir look not inappropriate to its subject. There's a raw directness that contributes to the emotional impact, and the depiction of the establishment of the Warsaw ghetto is searing. Directors Herbert Fredersdorf and Marek Goldstein focus on a single Jewish family, presumably to give viewers a coherent story line to hang on to, but the mother and son survive and are reunited after much searching for each other, a highly unrealistic view of what happened to most Jews in the Holocaust. Later films on the subject, notably Shoah, have made better attempts to come to terms with what it really was: a genocide of unmeasurable dimensions that renders the very idea of a coherent narrative absurd.

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