The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on February 20, 1999 · 60
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 60

Miami, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 20, 1999
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ft THE HERALD, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 1999 "A, Xt 1j?r l" 1iC' W1 'Y ,.i v. o ' 'ft . , v Last Days By ELINOR J.BRECHER Herald Staff Writer In the waning months of World War II, when Germanys defeat appeared inevitable, Adolf Hitlers lust for Jewish blood remained unsated. So he sent his armies into Hungary, on March 19, 1944. In a blinding 12 weeks, the SS managed to rout and deport virtually every one of the nations Jews. The Hungarian experience was a microcosm of what happened to all European Jewry, says June Beallor, co-producer of The Last Days , a gripping new documentary that explores that microcosm from start to finish. The first feature film from Steven Spielbergs Survivors of the amc AVENTURA 24 19501 BlSCAYNE BLVD 448-2088 8 00 p m REGAL BYRON CARLYLE 7 500-71 STREET MIAMI BEACH 866-9623 7 15pm KENDALL Regular Engagement Starts Friday, February 26 At Theatres Everywhere NO PASSES OR DISCOUNT TICKETS ACCEPTED FOR THIS ENGAGEMENT MmmMBMHBM .-, f-.V - , rVI- . . ., ,.. . a AM $ W - h V -? 'Kit I si documents tail end of Nazi horrors MOVIE REVIEW Shoah Visual Foundation made for theatrical release, this is an ambitious undertaking. Most Holocaust documentaries focus on a narrow aspect of the overwhelming tragedy; The Last Days takes survivors from prewar normalcy through the horrors of captivity to liberation, the Displaced Persons camps, to their lives in the present. It offers powerful testimony to the ravages of hatred, and the resiliency of the human spirit. While the wisdom of trying to cover so much territory in 85 minutes could be debated, the film offers some original moments, as mmc C0C0WALK 16 3015 GRAND AVENUE 448-2088 7 30 p m znmc SHERIDAN PLAZA 12 4999 SHERIDAN ST 448-2088 i 7 50 p m Regal KENDALL 9 DR WESTOMlA TURNPIKE 598-5000 715pm UIIUO1RTISIS PEMBROKE 11350 pines blvd 435-3700 7 20 p m I4? v '.. .,4 A , A .. Vvr .AluiU, iV' it deftly melds archival footage with contemporary interviews. One such moment: a brief encounter between a death camp doctor acquitted at the post-war Nuremberg trials because he tried to save some Jews by performing harmless experiments on them, and a survivor who had been one of his patients. The film assembles a group of Hungarian survivors who recount their experiences with dignity. They return to the villages and cities ol ttieir childhoods, and to the hellish concentration camps that now look so benign but hold so many searing memories. In a particularly wrenching scene, teacher Renee Firestone collapses against the gate of her childhood home and weeps as if her heart is about to break. ACADEMYMRD NOMINEE B E.S.IAD O GUM EJOuA R.Y Magnificent Breathtaking: cmc SUNSET PLACE 24 u S 1 AT RED RD & SUNSET DR 448-2088 V 7 25 p m IMITEDMTISTS THE FALLS rT 588 S W 136Tti ST 255-5200 . 7 45 p m 4Njwar- ?i?Vr . W p i;3j tf EMOTIONAL MOMENT: Bill Basch visits Dachau concentration camp in The Last Days. The survivors describe how proud Hungarys Jews were to be Hungarian, and how they felt completely assimilated. Not even the fate of Poland and Germanys Jews could punch holes in their denial, even though refugees from those countries lived among them. They speak of their degradation after the invasion, and their astonishment at seeing their non-Jewish neighbors jeering, as they were herded away by Nazi soldiers. Irene Zisblatt, a victim of medical experiments, recounts the incredible tale of her familys diamonds. Her mother tells her that she will need them to buy bread. Miraculously, Zisblatt manages to swallow and excrete them endlessly during a year in the camps. She made them into a tear-dropshaped pendant after the war. It is the only thing I have that my mother ever held, she says. THE LAST DAYS (Unrated) Cast Tom Lantos, Renee Firestone, Alice Lok Cahana, Irene Zisblatt, Bill Basch. Director James Moll. Executive producer Steven Spielberg. Producers: June Beallor, Ken Upper. Director of photography: Harris Done; Music: Hans Zimmer. A Survivors of the Shoah Visual Foundation release. Running time: 85 minutes. Adult themes, graphic Holocaust images. Miami-Dade: Aventura, Regal Bay Harbor, Broward: Fox Sunrise; Palm Beach County: Shadowood. The best film OF THE YEAR! Writer-direclor-star Roberto Bemgm has Chaplin's genius for combining comedy and compassion " Jori GOOD MOUSING AMERICA ".It will restore YOUR FAITH IN MOVIES!" Ml n LIFE" , Beautifuli 13 O O NOW PLAYING! rs f INTRACQASTAll OAK WOOD 18 J7C Sf 63 fl St u hx 1 94S 7416 93 7777 AH- VA. KENDALL TWN 4 CCWTIB SHERIDAN 12 FIs u npA( & Mndll Dr AWSherfcrk MOVIES eWM PINES ASTOfi ART CINEMA 20 ujunjSc ROWdMSER &INATE0pRMO fcH&ANfDTHEI MS LJ academyaward NOMINATIONS IMIIDIM BEST PICTURE TO Will A I SIVU MAMi JULES 17 6 jjj-n sk JiU tnc SHEW? Si 1-4 Kl Will COLO 1 xe 6 roa mm tnc SUNSET PLACE 24 4 V arc SOH DADE I xfvr n'vui imratm 3 Aa 8fAJ il i2 9 . vujc MOlEMmiT '4 W rwWu flue FASH DOW 11 U6 k 0AM 1l' A MU AS mu FOR SHOW TIMFS & TIC KFTS CAU MMW "Hscasa t jar-" Fight for Circle shows were not past caring AT LARGE, FROM IE them. We havent a lot of patience for the past. Our motion is forward, our speed set on ever faster. So theres been something encouraging about this campaign to save an ancient thing. School-children writing letters, experts testifying to the importance of the discovery ... it suggests a realization that theres value in understanding past passages. It suggests that were not too far gone. But then, Im biased: I love old things. Seek them out every chance I get. Ive walked with ghosts on a Civil War battlefield, mounted the stage of the Apollo Theatre, stood in the shadow of a giant propeller blade from the Titanic, toured a jailhouse where two men were lynched. And at each stop, Ive sought a silence in which to hear what these places and things were trying to tell me, the wisdom they might impart. I dont mind telling you that finding silence is hard. Its loud out there, after all the radio blasting, the traffic rushing by, the pager beeping, the television spewing nonstop. This is the world weve built on the foundations of the one that used to be. And we have all but drowned the voice of that other, older world, relegated it to history books, museums and the occasional special day. As a result, weve lost what that voice has to tell us. Lost its virtues and vices and values. In exchange, we get something we call progress an illusory thing at best, where the act of moving forward is valued without any thought of where it is were Internet access and more for just fPEWl a month. HERALDLTnk Call 1-800-850-4322 Mon Fri 7a m -1 Ip m., Sat -Sun. 10a m -6p m. BRENDAN ERASER the first I .. 'A?'-'' V 1il0fthe year! Pat CoUtns, WWOR irresistible Peter Travers ROLLING STONE 11 g blows away the recent crop of $ 1 III I IciG I I'g comedies! Jonathan Foreman NEW YORK POST wacky, Wild and fun! Brian Adams KICU-TV SAN JOSE mmmiMi mmn mm IWilMUlmBlBEIn lillMliyMrilWIl SWiiUS!!tM vnnran snuunsn aiiiBi" "inn in m Till n IIM twnJtradi Itwtwrinf umiIi Mti by ivwnbw, IIM., (berry Pepyia' leddiei, Temey Neerlktee, end were ssne r Jl 923 moving forward to. We prize direction over destination. So who can be surprised that, in exchange for the Miami Circle, Mr. Baumann would have offered the world another apartment building? Ive got nothing against apartment buildings, make no argument for the value of moving backward. But had the Circle been lost, can anyone doubt that it would have cost us in ways that cant be measured by money? Would have cost us the opportunity for a richer understanding of who we are and how we came to be. That cant be compensated with a new apartment complex. Its not, with apologies to Joni Mitchell, an issue of paving paradise to put up a parking lot. The Tequestas didnt live paradise who in history ever has? But they did live. Subsisting on alligator, berries and the bounty of the sea, they made their lives on a wilderness where, today, traffic thunders and mighty towers blot the sun. Now the Miami Circle is said to be one of the last pieces of evidence that they were ever here. Think about that for a minute. Everything you ever were . . . gone. Nothing left to tell the world who you were or what you did. Thats the truest death there is when you dont exist, even in memory. Its bad enough we put a pizza parlor on a battlefield. But for the Tequesta, the truest death is even closer. All they have left is a circle in the dirt. Leonard Pitts Jr. s column runs in Living 6 Arts every Thursday and Saturday. To call Pitts, dial 1-800-457-3881. mmum OFFICE IspaceJ CMI la t mmm t tom 3291 W. SunriM Blvd. Bfmmt MS i tt TwmhIu 791-7927 www Itondaswapsftop coir Aim snvERSTom TV 7 A i l

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