Before he left his mark forever on cinema with the revolutionary The Battle of Algiers, the extraordinary Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo directed this audacious, uncompromising World War II drama about a young Jewish woman (Susan Strasberg) in a Nazi concentration camp.
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Kapo is one of the great films about the Holocaust & is a significant film about the corruptive power of authority. Rivette was wrong. Involving a Jewish girl forcibly taken to the Nazi concentration camps, the film shows the girl hide her ethnicity for protection (with help by the concentration camp doctors) and slowly become a 'Kapo', which is a barracks leader who does the Nazi's biding & supports them. (cont.)
"However, in Kapo, at the shot where Riva kills herself by throwing herself on an electric barbed-wire fence; the man who decides, at that moment, to have a dolly in to tilt up at the body, while taking care to precisely note the hand raised in the angle of its final framing -- this man deserves nothing but the most profound contempt." (Jacques Rivette - On Abjection)
Two films here: the one I'm meant to watch, which seems to be about atrocities and how even good people are 2 or 3 self-interested decisions away from committing them; and the one my distracted mind sees, a prison fetish film in which the young hot girl, as usual, lords it over her older, homelier colleagues. As one who hasn't suffered atrocities, I'm more qualified/inclined to judge the second film: 3 stars.
Dura versión de los campos de concentración en ojos de una niña. "Kapo" no solo es la historia de terror que padecen un grupo de mujeres, sino también son los exterminios a las aptitudes humanas. La bondad y el optimismo son pisoteados en esta película, pero sobretodo es la inocencia ultrajada. Desde que ingresa a este entorno Edith pierde toda su identidad: nombre, físico y su étnia. Irá camino a la redención.
I liked the use of black and white for the subject. The score is good on its own but seems too much of its own time (late 50's) and not of the story itself. I'd have been more interested in this film if it were about two sisters; one becomes Kapo, turns vicious, other sister dies, Kapo survives and struggles to live with herself after the war and thinking about her actions. And drop the love story with the Russian