“UnBroken” : One of the Many Untold Stories of the Holocaust / DOC NYC Film Review

“UnBroken” :  One of the Many Untold Stories of the Holocaust / DOC NYC Film Review

UnBroken” tells the story of how one family was able to stay together during one of the largest systematic genocides in human history. This documentary tells the unbelievable story of the Weber siblings. After their mother died in Auschwitz, they were hidden away by the help of a gracious farmer and his wife.

They remained hidden in a laundry hut alone for two years trying to keep their father’s word to “always stay together.” This is a beautiful story of how resilience, perseverance, and the help of strangers kept one family together and alive for generations to come.

The director of this documentary is Beth Lane, who is the daughter of the youngest Weber sibling Bela Weber. Lane embarks on a journey to the places her mother and her siblings were during the Holocaust.

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She uses old letters written by her uncle Alfons and the accounts of the rest of Weber siblings to help piece together their story.

I liked how they had a narration of Alfons, voiced by Philip Boehm, reading the letters. It really gave the audience a true in the moment recollection of their experience. I also appreciated how every time a sibling was interviewed, their name and a picture of what they looked like during the holocaust was shown. It made it easier to know who was talking and when we saw images or clips, from that time, we would know who it was. In general, it helped make it more audience friendly so we would be more focused on the story then trying to figure out the clips.


My favorite part, from a story telling prospective, was how they used animation to tell some of the stories that they did not use footage from that time. Any documentary can just use generic B-roll if they don’t have a clip or image they need to convey that specific story. This documentary though used a unique animation style to show the story visually to the audience. It gave a different way to digest the information and overall made it very dynamic in the storytelling.

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I am a very visual learner, so I was able to retain more of the story then I would have just listening to someone tell it.

They showed images and clips of the various places Lane’s family had been to during that time. As I had said earlier, Lane travelled to these locations to piece together the story. So, there was images and clips from WWII of these places but then we would also see what it looks like now.

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I thought that it really gives the audience a real visual about how the Holocaust really happened. Some people try to forget the horrors of this time and ignore it, because it was “so long ago,” but they way they showed the then and now really just reminds us that it really isn’t that far gone in time.

During this documentary, the question “would you hide me?” gets brought up a lot and I think that it’s a powerful question to talk about. Everyone can say “oh yeah 1000% I would hide you,” but it makes you wonder if you really would. During the Holocaust, people who happen to know where a Jewish person was hiding could have been arrested let alone what would happen to the brave people who did hide them. One interview in particular, the woman states that she hopes she would but is unsure. That’s the reality of it back then and now, people want to do what is right, but can they make that decision?

One of the grandchildren of the Weber siblings had said something that really stuck with me. He said that because one person said yes to save seven people that he had saved 72 lives. I think it was one of, if not the most powerful statements in this documentary.

UnBroken” shows us the story of one of the times someone had said yes to the harrowing question “would you hide me?” and how it affects more than just one person… it affects generations of people.

Unbroken“will have its NYC Premiere on Sunday November 12th, at the DOC NYC.

Grade: A


Check out more of Serena’s articles. 

While no official trailer has come out, here’s a preview:

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