The Search

The Search is a 1947 (released in 1948) Swiss-American film directed by Fred Zinnemann which tells the story of a young Auschwitz survivor and his mother who search for each other across post-World War II Europe. It stars Montgomery Clift, Ivan Jandl, Jarmila Novotná and Aline MacMahon.

Last night, Jan. 13, 2020, Turner Classic Movie (TCM) aired a movie titled The Search.

Filmed in black and white, this movie, based on a true story, was about how, after the holocaust, soldiers found a box car on a siding in a remote area and when they opened it there were several dozen Jewish children.

The movie details how they searched for the parents or relatives of these children so they could get them with family and the difficulty they had making them understand that they were safe.

In one scene, they are loading the children in ambulances to transport them to a place where they can get food and clean blankets to sleep under, luxuries they had not had for years. Upon seeing the ambulances, the children ran and would not get in them. It was later revealed that their parents were taken away in ambulances and never seen again.

In another scene a girl explained how she had been put in charge of sorting clothing of the Jews and she had found her mother’s blouse.  

The movie is actually about a boy and his mother who were separated during the holocaust and spent years looking for each other. The mother is told that her son is dead but she refuses to believe it, and to make the happy ending most movies of that time felt necessary, they finally find each other. (I believe this is probably true also.)

The real story is the other children, how they had problems adjusting to the fact that they were safe and didn’t know what was to become of them. It was the story of heartbreak and suffering brought on by the holocaust. It was the story that the suffering didn’t stop just because the war ended, it continued for many years after, and for some, I believe it continues to this day.

I have to admit, I cried. I don’t usually cry during movies but this one brought big time tears.

I know that most movies that claim to be based on true events add a lot of fiction or drama to make it more interesting and this movie did add some but, I could also have been watching a  documentary on the history channel and seen the same pictures and had the same feelings.

As I watched this movie, I couldn’t help thinking about what this country had been doing, separating immigrant parents from their children and not keeping proper documents. Putting the children in cages without proper hygiene or medical care. How will these families reunite or will they ever reunite? Whoever thought this could ever happen in this country, The United States of America. And all because of one person, who stole the presidency.

Author: mhhoyt

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