Forgotten Transports: To Estonia

Clearly the result of meticulous research, Lukas Pribyl's moving "Forgotten Transports: To Estonia" bears witness to some little-told stories of the Holocaust.

With:
With: Gisela Danzig, Helena Freund, Doris Rauch, Emma Morgenstern, Zuzana Fallek, Zndenka Fishl, Anna Kraus, Edita Heilig.

Clearly the result of meticulous research, Lukas Pribyl’s moving “Forgotten Transports: To Estonia” bears witness to some little-told stories of the Holocaust. Docu traces the harrowing three-year odyssey of roughly 100 young Czech Jewish women after they arrived in Estonia on Sept. 5, 1942, and were separated from their families. Setting the scene with title cards, pic uses survivor interviews, rare archival footage, photos and documents to introduce virtually unknown concentration camps and strategies inmates used to survive. Important contribution to WWII history will likely travel to Jewish fests and enjoy a long life in ancillary.

Now living all over the world, pic’s eloquent subjects speak several languages; however, when recounting what camp commandants said, all switch to German. Their most painful memories center on separation from parents and refusal to believe rumors about loved ones’ cruel fates; the most gripping moments come from their unique tales of survival. Majority of the visual materials used are prewar family photos. Broadcast-friendly tech package is pro, although the shrill score irritates. Briskly paced pic is part of a Pribyl quartet that includes feature-length docus on transports to Latvia, Belarus and eastern Poland.

Forgotten Transports: To Estonia

Czech Republic

Production: A Falcon release of a Total HelpArt production, supported by the Czech State Fund for the support and development of Czech cinematography. (International sales: Menemsha, Los Angeles.) Produced by Lukas Pribyl, Ondrej Trojan. Directed, written by Lukas Pribyl.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Jakub Simunek; editor, Vladimir Barak; music, Peter Ostrouchov. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing), July 7, 2008. Czech, German, English dialogue. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Gisela Danzig, Helena Freund, Doris Rauch, Emma Morgenstern, Zuzana Fallek, Zndenka Fishl, Anna Kraus, Edita Heilig.

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