This is an exceptional tale of an extremely talented and gifted sportsman surviving an immoral, insane, racist, despotic ideology through the one thing he knows best, boxing. It's an ode to a man refusing to accept the obvious fate and fighting to stay alive in spite of the total degeneration and breakdown of all humanity around him. In a way I compare this movie to 'The Pianist' and unlike many other holocaust movies, this movie depicts the protagonist fighting back his tormentors and even bettering them as they hate him for winning every time. All this time he is like a Gladiator, fighting other men who are in same position as his, just to entertain ruthless Nazi officials while he is constantly aware that if he loose he would surely die. The movie is aptly named after Salamo's undying perseverance for life where his soul was been trampled. The death camp scenes sure hint that movies like Schindler's list and life is beautiful borrow heavily in visual style from this movie. Though the violence in the movie is more of suggestive and less graphic than its successors yet it proves quite moving due to a very convincing performance of William Dafoe (I am sure he did work hard to get in shape and develop such agility for a boxer), and to the fact that all this happened in reality. Also the soundtrack was successful in carrying the heaviness of the movie. Sure it is a seriously made movie on one of the most shameful happenings of modern human history. But at one point it can also be seen as a great boxing movie. It is like capturing the psychology of a tormented and tortured warrior, and the movie does that well.