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Forgiving Dr. Mengele

A stunning and important addition to the growing culture discourse on trauma and its aftermath, FORGIVING DR. MENGELE is a rare achievement in Holocaust documentary. Directors Bob Hercules and Cheri Pugh's story focuses on Eva Mozes Kor, a compelling protagonist if there ever was one. Kor, a Midwestern real estate agent, was, along with her twin sister Miriam, the victim of sadistic medical experiments while imprisoned at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. One of numerous unlucky guinea pigs tortured by Doctor Mengele, aka the "God of Auschwitz", Kor has forged a campaign to help victims of that atrocious genocide to learn to forgive. Forgiveness of Nazis, of course, is practically taboo in a culture of reverent Holocaust commemoration and its attached moral polarities, yet this victim believes it is the only way to heal. When her twin sister tragically dies due to the aftereffects of Mengele's experiments, Kor attempts to seek out the perpetrator through extensive research. Though unable to find Mengele, she does find another former Nazi doctor, who is not only filled with remorse for his deeds, but used his position to save many of those Jews he was enlisted to victimize. Together, the two travel to the site of his atrocities and her torture, Auschwitz, where she formally forgives him. Outspoken and unsentimental, Kor deals with the traumas of her past not by silencing them, but by confronting them head on and working through them to heal. Though it is, she maintains, a personal choice, it is one that numerous other Holocaust survivors find an offensive betrayal to the horrors in their own pasts. Interweaving archival footage with verite clips of Kor's journey to forgiveness, FORGIVING DR. MENGELE is conventional in form, but as unique a documentary in content as is the protagonist herself.

Film Info

RUNTIME - 80 minutes

RATING - Not Rated

YEAR - 2006

COUNTRY - United States

LANGUAGE - English

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