20 February 2002 | tonyro
I bought my own copy of The Wall after seeing the TV miniseries Uprising. Some 30 years ago, I read the novel upon which the film is based--a diary (modelled on Emmanuel Ringelblum's Notes from the Warsaw Ghetto) recounting the experiences of diarist Noach Levinson and his family--Dolek and Symka Berson (Dolek is Jewish--the anonymous reviewer described him wrongly as non-Jewish), Rachel, Mordechai, Halinka, David Apt, Rutka and Stefan Mazur and several others. Curiously, Noach Levinson is absent from the play and movie.
Filmed on location in Warsaw, The Wall shows horrific scenes of Jews being moved into the ghetto, loaded on the trains to the death camp of Treblinka. One scene shows hundreds of Jews receiving bread and marmalade for reporting for "resettlement". The uprising scenes show Nazis being killed by bullets, Molotov cocktails.
The characters are somewhat one-dimensional--no real development of them is given here (unlike the book). Rachel is a militant from the start, Halinka is an airhead all the way, Dolek simply drifts along.
Amazing how the film is relentless in portraying the horrors of ghetto life and the deportation. However, the dating is garbled in parts--deportations to Treblinka begin in April, 1941 instead of July, 1942. This is not an insignificant issue since the death camps were not operative until late 1941 and 1942--Treblinka did not begin operations until July, 1942.
Somewhat curiously, no attention is given to the party allegiances of the ghetto underground which united Zionists, socialists, communists and other groupings.
Still, for somebody wanting an introduction to the Warsaw ghetto, this might be the appropriate film.