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Six Million and One

The discovery of his late father's journal prompts Israeli documentarian David Fisher to drag three siblings on a journey only he's enthused about: to the sites of the Austrian concentration camps their dad barely survived.

With:
With: Esti Fisher, Gideon Fisher, Ronel Fisher, David Fisher, Julia Wachsmann, Christian Durr, Renate Heigel, Sieglinde Witzany-Durge, Rudolf Haunschmied, Mickey Dorsey, George Patton Waters, William Juksch, Peter Carnabuci, Emanuel Brandstaetter, Wolfgang Schmutz, Martin Scheiber. (Hebrew, German, English dialogue)

The discovery of his late father’s journal prompts Israeli documentarian David Fisher to drag three siblings on a journey only he’s enthused about: to the sites of the Austrian concentration camps their dad barely survived. The resulting mix of interviews and familial squabbling makes “Six Million and One” a worthy if occasionally self-indulgent addition to the screen’s voluminous Holocaust records. Planned U.S. theatrical exposure should briefly precede wider educational and broadcast play.

Fisher (“Love Inventory”) was the only person who could bring himself to read patriarch Joseph’s diary, found only after his passing several years ago. It detailed an extraordinary ordeal of being shuttled among various camps, assigned terrible labor — cleaning extermination rooms, digging vast underground tunnels — and witnessing myriad brutalities before the arrival of American liberators (some of whom are interviewed here). Primary focus is on sibling dynamics, as the helmer’s brothers and sister debate their childhoods, parental relationships, the value of this grim “vacation” and so forth with good humor and occasional tears. The viewer may wish less attention were paid to their quarrelsome company and more to Joseph’s story, but this ably crafted feature is engaging nonetheless.

Six Million and One

Israel-Germany-Austria

Production: A Nancy Fishman Film Releasing (in U.S.) release of a Yes, ZDF/Arte and NFCT presentation of a Fisher Features production. Produced, directed, written by David Fisher.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Ronen Mayo, Claudio Steinberg, Ronen Schechner; editor, Hadas Ayalon; music, Ran Bagno. Reviewed at San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 21, 2012. Running time: 93 MIN.

With: With: Esti Fisher, Gideon Fisher, Ronel Fisher, David Fisher, Julia Wachsmann, Christian Durr, Renate Heigel, Sieglinde Witzany-Durge, Rudolf Haunschmied, Mickey Dorsey, George Patton Waters, William Juksch, Peter Carnabuci, Emanuel Brandstaetter, Wolfgang Schmutz, Martin Scheiber. (Hebrew, German, English dialogue)

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