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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of survival in true story of boxer who survived Auschwitz.
Positive Role Models
Movie based on true story of Auschwitz survivor explores the incredibly difficult choices the lead character and others who were sent to concentration camps during World War II had to make to survive, and the consequences of living with those decisions later, including PTSD.
While centered on one character, the movie shows the ways in which Jewish survivors of Nazi concentration camps now living in America tried to cope with the trauma and loss.
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Violence & Scariness
Graphic boxing violence, particularly when the lead character is forced to box other concentration camp prisoners to the death. Rifle butts to heads. Characters beaten and kicked. Characters shot and killed at point-blank range. Dead bodies in concentration camps. Talk of suicide.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief nudity (breasts) as lead character is "rewarded" by Nazis with a sex worker after winning a boxing match in the concentration camp; one of the Nazis watches through a peephole in the door. Lead character's brother glibly tells him that the first love he's searching for was "just a girl you f--ked as a kid."
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"F--k" often used. Also: "a--hole," "ass," "s--t," "goddamn." Antisemitic, racial, and ethnic slurs used.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking. Whiskey drinking in bar. Nazis drink beer and alcohol from flasks while cheering and jeering during boxing matches in the concentration camp.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Survivor is a 2022 drama that tells the true story of a boxer who survived Auschwitz. There's graphic boxing violence, especially during the fights held in the concentration camp (blood, head butts, broken bones), where the lead character was forced into fighting fellow prisoners by the Nazis; the defeated boxer was then shot and killed. Characters shot and killed at point-blank range. The movie shows the lead character's later struggles with PTSD. Brief nudity (breasts) during scene in which the lead character is "rewarded" by Nazis with a sex worker after winning a boxing match in the concentration camp; one of the Nazis watches through a peephole in the door. Drinking, cigarette smoking. Strong language throughout, including "f--k." Antisemitic, racial, and ethnic slurs used. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an incredibly powerful film about the horrific lengths one man went to survive Auschwitz. The Survivor tells the story of Hertzko "Harry" Haft, a New York boxer in the late 1940s trying to use his fledgling boxing career as a way to track down his lost love who was taken by the Nazis and never heard from again. Unlike his family, he believes she's still alive, and Haft tries to create a new life for himself and his family in the United States. What The Survivor so movingly presents are the challenges in surviving not only past trauma, but also surviving living with that trauma in the years after, particularly after World War II, when a silent stoicism was believed to be the best way for men at the time to live with their pain.
While intense, the movie has some moments of humor, particularly from Danny DeVito, who plays Rocky Marciano's trainer. As Haft, Ben Foster turns in an extraordinary performance, capturing the nuances of a good man forced to do bad things, an imperfect man struggling to accept that the past he endured cannot be forgotten, and, for his son and future generations, nor should it be. The Survivor deserves a place among the very best movies to depict not only the Holocaust and its victims, but also the battles that raged within those who lived to fight another day.
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