"The most passionate and best re-creation of Wallenberg and his moment... Brilliant." --New York Post
"Like Steven Spielberg's 'Schindler's List'... a distinguished and deeply moving addition to the cinema of the Holocaust." --Philadelphia Inquirer
"Deeply unsettling... harrowing... chilling." --The New York Times
Description: On Schindler's List there were hundreds of names.
On Raoul Wallenberg's there were tens of thousands.
"A film of epic ambitions" (The New York Times), Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg chronicles the last days of the war in Budapest. It is a moving and sensitive portrait of internationally known hero, Raoul Wallenberg, a small-scale businessman whose life was transformed after he witnessed bodies being thrown from a train on its way to Auschwitz.
International film star Stellan Skarsgård (Aberdeen, Dancer in the Dark, Good Will Hunting, Amistad, Breaking the Waves, The Hunt for Red October) "is merely perfect" (New York Post) as Raoul Wallenberg, an attache to the Swedish Embassy who moved to Budapest, Hungary in 1944 to help Jews escape Adolph Eichmann's deadly path. Wallenberg saved over 60,000 people in Budapest's Jewish ghetto by helping them escape Hungary with Swedish papers ("Wallenberg passports"), or getting them placed in protective housing. His greatest challenge came in 1945, when he saved the lives of some 65,000 Jews in the ghetto by forcing the hand of the German general responsible for their fate. On January 17, 1945, Wallenberg was taken to Moscow as a Soviet prisoner. He was never released, and his fate has remained a mystery.
Before us appear the last months of World War II in Budapest, presenting the monumental role of Raoul Wallenberg in saving the city's Jews with remarkable success. The story of Wallenberg and his tireless efforts is depicted with honest reality, conveying how selflessly he worked to save those who could not save themselves. By others, he was seen as a man of mediocrity adding nothing to the fame of his notable Swedish family of industry and finance. His unremarkable life caused many to doubt his suitability to rescue Jews in Central Europe. And yet, he went on to prove his doubters very wrong exhibiting anything but mediocrity as he devoted all his time, energy and resources to rescuing Jews in Budapest from trains that would have led to certain death. The film depicts his resourcefulness at devising new plans when previous methods of rescue no longer succeed. One cannot but be amazed at the gall he exhibited in approaching the Nazi general in command to avert the annihilation of the Jewish ghetto of Budapest, thereby saving 65,000 lives in addition to the some 35,000 lives he protected in safe houses disguised as Swedish government buildings. If these figures are accurate, Wallenberg is responsible for the saving of most of the Jews of Budapest who survived the war. Over and over, we see how he forwent his own comfort and needs in order to save one more life or make one more person's life a little easier. He never thought twice of putting his own life in danger to save another's. How tragic then his own disappearance at the close of the war, when the perceived danger had passed. He was taken by the Russians under the pretext of meeting with the newly established Hungarian government heads only to be taken to Russia never to be heard from again. While we may never know the fate of this most extraordinary hero, we have much to learn from his example of selfless love for one's neighbor. He made the ultimate sacrifice for humanity giving up his freedom and in all likelihood his life. This film offers a very tasteful recounting of his heroic efforts during the war and being filmed in Swedish, Hungarian and German adds to its authenticity. I would highly recommend this film to anyone wishing to learn about Raoul Wallenberg and the role he played in saving Budapest's Jews during World War II.
Posted by Anita on 18th Sep 2013
I had never heard of this man or knew how embassies where involved in this war. We have another "Righteous" one in Mr.Wallenberg. When one knows what is happening today and is vexed in the soul by it, one only imagine how these people stayed sane. You get a close up of the lives of these people and the conditions they lived and died in. I recommend this dvd to anyone who studies history and WWII. Anita