Our Review

Jeanne: As the threat of fascism rises around the world in 2024, producer and Holocaust survivor, Emil A. Fish, who was seven years old when these events took place in his hometown of Bardejov, Slovakia, is determined not to let the world forget the horrors that Nazi Germany perpetrated upon the Jews. Directed by Danny A. Abeckaser, who also stars, BARDEJOV is one of many recent tellings filmmakers have focused on to keep these horrific stories alive.


It was just a day like any other in this small town of Bardejov --- people worshipping in a synagogue, men going about their business and women caring for their children. But everything changes when a band of young Hlinka guards, who’ve aligned themselves with the Nazis, arrive and demand that all Jews register for work.


Wealthy winemaker and Rabbi Rafuel Lowy (Robert Davi) steps up and begins paying large sums of money to stave off what he sees happening in the rest of the country. Then an announcement is made that all the young women who aren’t yet married must pack a small bag. They are being transported East to work in a shoe factory.


Lowy learns that, in fact, the girls will be heading to Auschwitz, the death camp. Though Lowy and his wife have two sons and no daughters, he takes it upon himself to find a solution. He and the other town leaders devise a dangerous plan with the help of Dr. Atlas (Abeckaser), hoping to save their precious young women from certain demise.


Davi leads a formidable cast in this tale of hope and perseverance. BARDEJOV gets off to a slow start, but as this little-known event gathers steam, Abeckaser and his cast and crew bring this important account --- one of many throughout the Holocaust --- to light.


Written by Shmuel Lynn with a gorgeous --- and

haunting --- score by Lionel Cohen, BARDEJOV is definitely worth a viewing. It’s a true testament to the human spirit and the power we have to take control --- an imperative warning in these dark times.


               Available on VOD, March 19, 2024


Opinion: Wait for VOD

David: BARDEJOV tells the true story of a small town in Slovakia during World War II whose courageous rabbi saves the young Jewish women from being sent to a Nazi death camp. Veteran character actor Robert Davi plays Rabbi Rafuel Lowy.


When he learns the young girls of his town have been ordered to leave on a train bound for a shoe factory --- they have been promised compensation for three months’ work --- he investigates. He discovers there is no shoe factory at all. In fact, they are designated for imprisonment at the Nazi’s most notorious death camp, Auschwitz.


Rabbi Lowy, meeting with the town’s civic leaders, devises an unusual plan to try and save the girls. It is a desperate measure to take. One girl questions if his plan is dangerous. Not as dangerous as getting on the train, he responds.


Ironically it is not Nazis who control the town and give the orders, but a group of Slovak soldiers called Hlinkas who are loyal to Hitler. The movie is based on the recollections of Emil Fish who was imprisoned, along with his mother and sister, at a German death camp called Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp during the Holocaust. He was only seven years old but thankfully survived to tell his tale. He also appears in BARDEJOV.


Directed by Danny A. Abeckaser, BARDEJOV is told compactly and with great tension and emotion. Davi anchors a very good ensemble cast. The Hlinka guards play the villains with relish, while the Jewish townspeople, especially the group of young girls, are distraught but not over the top. The marvelous accompanying music for this anxious time is provided by Lionel Cohen.


                 Available on VOD, March 19, 2024


Opinion:  Wait for VOD