How far would you go to save yourself? Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo takes an uncompromising look at the dark side of survival by holding a mirror up to the many faces of inhumanity in the concentration camp drama "Kapo" (1959). When Edith, a Parisian Jewish teenager, is shipped off to Auschwitz, a sympathetic camp doctor gives a new identity and she is reborn as Nichole, a Polish criminal, and sentenced to hard labor. Sent to work as a warden, soon her desperation to survive, newfound power, and emotional numbness compel her to thrive within her ranks turn her a brutish as any Nazi. A compelling tragedy that is essential viewing for the serious art house lover.
Before he left his mark on cinema forever with the Battle of Algiers, Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo directed this uncompromising World War II drama about a young Jewish woman (Susan Strasberg) in a Nazi concentration camp who saves herself from death by assuming another's identity and becoming a ruthless warden. The Oscar-nominated Kapò was one of the first films to depict the horror of the Holocaust, and it does so with brutality and daring emotional complexity.