Distant Journey

A masterpiece ... like Orson Welles, Radok was a man of the theater and his use of film form has a comparable audacity.


Distant Journey

One of the first films to confront the horrors of the Holocaust remains one of the most powerful. Suffused with the visceral dread of a waking nightmare, Distant Journey draws from director and Holocaust survivor Alfréd Radok’s own experiences to tell the story of a Czechoslovak Jewish family—including a young doctor (Blanka Waleská) and her gentile husband (Otomar Krejča)—whose lives are torn apart by the terrors of the Nazi occupation, leading them inexorably to a grim fight for survival in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Blending expressionistic cinematography with archival documentary footage (some drawn from Triumph of the Will) to potent effect, this harrowing vision of human atrocity was banned in its home country for more than forty years, only to reemerge as urgent and impactful as ever.

"Has an unprecedented place in the history of cinema of the Holocaust ... the images are imaginative and powerful." - Leonard Quart, The Berkshire Eagle

"An artistically effectual portrayal of the horrors of the Holocaust. The narrative is continually interrupted by documentary footage, linking the fate of the individuals to contemporary history, and concentrating the narrative segments into a nightmarish, expressionist danse macabre." - Berlin Film Festival
Not Rated
Drama, Thriller, War, Jewish Culture
Alfréd Radok

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