...and that although the Holocaust apart from the "Reichskristallnacht" (Night of Broken Glass) hadn't officially begun yet. Nor will you see gas chambers and people being cramped above eachother like firewood. Is it less striking and touching though? Definitely not. I respect this movie, it's more or less the only movie which really manages to strike my sympathy for the fate of the Jews. Am I especially cold hearted or racist? Surely not, but it does take a bit more than cutting together some arbitrary massacres to win my interest and especially my affection. I'm more or less dissapointed with all the films out there, you can't attach to most of the characters they are just mere numbers not more than they were in the death camps. Most Holocaust movies just try to shock the audience with one brutality after another carried out on hollow, impersonal Jews by just as mindless and sadisitic Nazis. There are even a few films which start off well and you think you might actually have an interest in this person's or this family's fate just to get disappointed yet again for mostly the same reasons. The persons displayed lack personality and character, interests, background and the same goes for their persecutors. "Voyage of the Damned" on the other hand provides a true story far from cliches, main characters with whom's fate you really sympathize and builds up an atmosphere which really is indulging not say frightning at the eve of World War 2. You get a feel for the desperation which was must have gripped every passenger on this voyage and the fear of being sent back. It's their backgrounds which interest one which are patially linked to Nazi prosection but not exclusively, they consist of more and this strikes attention to their fate. Since the passengers mostly consist of German and Austrian Jews it's just as fascinating to actually have them attach to their homecountry, even though it's in the grip of the Nazis. It gives them background, a past and something many today don't understand, a heritage which they had trouble letting go of. It's like one of the main cast says, "All my life I thought of myself as a German and now I find out I'm just a Jew". I can attach to that feeling as could any human being, it's losing one's own identity, it's betrayal and the viewer can attach to that. I think the crucial part really is the mental pain of these people which the film portraits, whereas in most other films dealing with the subject we only see pyhsical pain, most often totally pointless and without any deeper background to it. The film also avoids finding and brandmarking scapegoats, a selfrightous attribute most modern films have, which in my opinion only makes it all the more remarkable.