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Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University of Wellington. Vol. 24, No. 5. 1961

Ostatni Etap (The Last Stage), Poland

Ostatni Etap (The Last Stage), Poland.

This film, made in 1946, has not been commercially screened in New Zealand, as far as I know. The commercial set-up being what it is, it's not likely to be, either.

Directed by Wanda Jakubowska from a script by herself and Gerda Schneider, the film is set in Auschwitz concentration camp, in which one of them suffered during the war. 4,500,000 people died there and this is a moving recapitulation of their experiences. It is one of the most moving films to come out of the Second World War, and was made at Auschwitz itself. A compelling realism is one of the qualities that distinguishes it from all other fictions about concentration camps I've seen.

It was made under the patronage of the Film Board of the United Nations, won a Peace Prize from the World Peace Council, and won the Grand Prix at the Third International Film Festival at Venice. It was also placed on the short list of the British Film Academy for its award.

Arthur Everard.