Ben Foster Gives a Knockout Performance in ‘The Survivor,’ a Brutal and Sobering Film
On the surface, the title for Barry Levinson’s The Survivor seems to be derived from Harry Haft’s title as “The Survivor of Auschwitz,” but on a much deeper level, it is because his survival is marred by survivor’s guilt.
In the wake of the horrors of the Holocaust, Harry Haft makes a name for himself as an up-and-coming boxer in New York City, but the origins of that skill comes from his harrowing experience in the Nazi concentration camps.
Rather than simply telling us what happened to Haft, Levinson explores the grotesque and traumatizing experience through a series of black-and-white flashbacks.
In these flashbacks, the smarmy and manipulative Nazi Dietrich Schneider takes Haft under his wing after witnessing him brawl with an officer. He weaponizes his strength, training him as a boxer.
The Survivor had its world premiere this week at the Toronto International Film Festival. A release date has not yet been set.