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Los Angeles, California, April 10, 2000: Amir Bar-Lev proudly announces the completion of his feature documentary film "Fighter."
With these words two unconventional 70-year olds, Arnost Lustig and Jan Wiener, set out to revisit the Europe of their childhoods. But the two friends are only partially right: the trip will take take them on an original and unorthodox exploration of the Holocaust, revealing moments of joie de vivre, fighting spirit, romance and humor. It is, however, not nearly as pleasant a journey as they had expected.
Beginning as an historical biography, Fighter becomes a psychological drama as the trip becomes a contentious clash of ideologies, personalities, and life paths. By the time the two pack their bags and draw a premature end to their roadtrip, our filming, and their relationship, what has emerged is a portrait of the century's most dramatic events- recounted not through dry historical facts, but through an unlikely friendship brought to the brink of collapse.
By combining spontaneous action with reflective conversations and historical films, Fighter weaves a complex portrait linking the two compelling subjects with the breathtaking stories of their youths. Here are the untold stories of the era: playing soccer while waiting to be gassed in Auschwitz, losing one's virginity the night before a transport to the camps, running towards the front rather than away from it in the fervent desire to fight Hitler. In making Fighter, the filmmakers gained access to a trove of rare archival footage, never before seen by Western audiences, from eerily familiar footage of the 1942 bombing of Yugoslavia, with columns of refugees fleeing the violence, to kitsch Socialist musicals staged in technicolor power plants.
In Color, 86 minutes, 35mm print. Director/Editor: Amir Bar-Lev
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