“I Have Never Forgotten You – The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal” is an insightful documentary about Simon Wiesenthal and how one person can truly make a difference in the world. Filmmaker Richard Trank convincingly mixes archival materials (photographs, documents, and old interviews), new interviews, and new images of various locations from Mr. Wiesenthal’s life in order to give the viewer a complete picture of a simple man who was determined to bring justice for the inhumanity of the Holocaust.
In the film, Mr. Trank documents Mr. Wiesenthal’s life in a linear path from his childhood to prewar adulthood as a promising architect and married life to the SS Camps to his famous exploits of tracking down war criminals including Eichmann, Mengele, and Silberbauer (the officer who arrested Anne Frank). The film also delves into the controversy that Mr. Weisenthal encountered when he labeled Kurt Waldheim (the former Austrian President and UN Secretary General) a Nazi war criminal. While many of his exploits and accomplishments are highlighted in the film, Mr. Trank also delves into Mr. Wiesenthal’s personal family life and his dedication and love for his wife and daughter.
Throughout his life, Mr. Wiesenthal lived a simple and modest life in Austria. Even though he is immortalized as a Nazi hunter, the film reveals that he was a man who was just trying to help track down these men and help bring some kind of justice to the inhumane experiences that he and others were subjected to. He was clearly dedicated to his work and to his family. The Holocaust never really ended for Mr. Wiesenthal and one can feel this impact on him through his facial expressions and vocal tones when he talks about the ordeals that he went through in the Holocaust.
The viewer will learn a number of ironic events that Mr. Wiesenthal encountered throughout his life. For instance, Mr. Wiesenthal suffered insomnia after hitting a roadblock while chasing down Eichmann. Mr. Wiesenthal’s doctor told him to take up a hobby to help him ease his insomnia. He took up stamp collecting. While he was in the middle of making a transaction with an Austrian baron, the baron told Mr. Wiesenthal that he received a letter from a friend in Argentina. The friend claimed to have met Eichmann, who was working in a water company in Argentina. Mr. Wiesenthal quickly used this information in order to help track down and capture Eichmann.
Throughout the documentary, which is narrated by Nicole Kidman, the viewer will learn a great deal about Mr. Wiesenthal and how one person can truly make an impact in this world. “I Have Never Forgotten You – The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal” is truly a documentary worth seeing and remembering.