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The Relief of Belsen Reviews

  • The Relief of Belsen Reviews
  • "Covering a period of a month after the British liberated Bergen-Belsen, this captivating drama-doc has a certain epic quality. The film packs a powerful punch and is a reminder that we yearn for happy endings in stories because there aren't any in life."

    The Guardian

  • "The Relief of Belsen delivered a vivid impression of what the rescue operation must have been like and made you prouder than ever of that generation of British soldiers."

    The Times

  • "The use of hand-held cameras adds vividness and it tells a largely unknown story so that - most unusually in historical faction - there is real dramatic tension"

    The Sunday Times

  • "A worthy project, expertly accomplished. "

    The Independent

  • "Powerful and haunting"

    The Financial Times

  • "Artfully told and deeply moving"

    The Telegraph

  • "I want to congratulate you for creating a magnificent portrayal of an indescribable experience. The liberation of Belsen simultaneously constituted the final chapter of the Holocaust and the first chapter of post-Holocaust rebirth. As you know, I knew not only my mother, but also Glyn Hughes, James Johnston and Derrick Sington. They came to life again for me in your realistic, sensitive and loving portrayals and in the magnificent totality that you created with such obvious devotion and respect. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart."

    Son of Dr. Hadassah Bimko-Rosensaft

  • "Belsen and situations like it must always be remembered in the hope that we learn to prevent similar situations in the future. In a way this film has been cathartic. My father did not talk about Belsen as far as I know to anyone. In those days they didn’t. In a curious way I feel I have carried his unexpressed burden - and your production feels as if it has taken a load off my back. I would like to express our gratitude as a family for the work you have done and especially for the inmates of the camp."

    Son of Lt. Col. Mervyn Gonin

  • "From the hundreds of ways you could have approached it, what you offered us was the way it had to be. For the vast audiences out there with no knowledge that such inhumanity did exist, it will be an eye-opener, and hopefully a harsh lesson learned: one never to be forgotten. For making this happen as you have, six million thanks to you."

    Brother of Private Emmanuel Fisher

  • “On Sunday October 28th the new museum building with its new permanent exhibition was opened at Bergen-Belsen. In the evening we presented your film to Jewish survivors of Bergen-Belsen who had taken part in the opening ceremony before. I had expected that perhaps about 10 survivors would come to see the film because the whole program on Sunday had been very exerting for them - physically and emotionally. To my surprise nearly the whole group of survivors from Israel, USA and Canada wanted to see the film. It was a moving experience for them and at the same time they got new information about the process and the background of these relief activities, especially concerning the first days after liberation when they have been still in camp 1. Thank you again and best wishes.”

    Gedenkstaette Bergen-Belsen

  • “It’s very difficult to do a holocaust drama that hasn’t been done before, but The Relief of Belsen tapped a new seam … The two hour docu-drama delivered a seamless mix of archive footage and compelling performances. The judges felt the powerful combination gave it an epic feel. “It just stands out. The story is extraordinary,” said one who was also impressed by the mix of grand-scale drama and minutiae. “The way they handled the juxtaposition of the death rate rising threefold after liberation and of the death rate rising threefold after liberation and of the liberators spending a lot of time sitting and eating and drinking was perfect. The paradoxes were handled very sensitively. It was moving, tastefully done – the best… Hardy Pictures is really pushing the boundaries.”

    Broadcast Awards 2008

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