The Relief Of Belsen 2007

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(49) IMDb 7.5/10
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Television drama about what happened when a British ambulance unit was diverted from the frontline to deal with the aftermath of the liberation of the concentration camp at Belsen. Believing they are on the way to a prisoner of war camp to assist with a medical emergency, the group are totally unprepared for the humanitarian catastrophe they find - 40,000 people living in horrific squalor; suffering from starvation and a lack of the most basic medical care. As an outbreak of Typhus spreads through the camp, the team struggles to cope with the immense task before them. Based on eyewitness accounts, the film stars Iain Glen, Corin Redgrave, Jemma Redgrave, Nigel Lindsay and Tobias Menzies, and reveals the extraordinary true story behind one of the most heroic medical relief operations in history.

Starring:
Jemma Redgrave, Iain Glen
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 40 minutes
Starring Jemma Redgrave, Iain Glen, Simon Day, Corin Redgrave, Tobias Menzies
Director Justin Hardy
Genres Drama
Studio SPIRIT ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 14 April 2008
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 April 2008
Format: DVD
This inspiring and harrowing portrayal of Belsen is a must see. Based on eyewitness accounts, letters and diaries written by those who were there this drama makes compulsive viewing.

Quite simply, near the end of the war a small medical team was diverted to a little known camp, called Belsen. All they knew was that there was a medical emergency there, and that their help was needed. Little did they know what they were in for. What they saw when they arrived was squalor, death, disease, infestation and starvation. Amongst in-fighting wthin the group, lack of supplies and masses of red tape, this medical team fought to save lives. Despair and anguish sets in as the death rate increases, with no help from the German guards and medical staff.

What could have been just a film of death and bleakness has been intelligently made, and what we have is a drama of humanitarian aid and selfless effort of a small group of doctors and nurses. Sheer willpower and British stiff upper-lip reserve manage to eventually turn the camp around, and save lives. The BBC reporter at last at the scene is given permisson to report on what has happened at this now infamous camp. You will end up with tears in your eyes watching this, and it will haunt you for days after.

What we have is true heroism from a small medical team trying to save lives whilst war still rages around them. A must see film for anyone who loves a tale of true life courage.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lou on 14 Jun. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had the opportunity to visit the Beregen Belsen Memorial in May 2011, what a life changing experience it was for us. A family member is stationed there, so we (my partner and I) spent a lot of time in the area. The memorial.......we found out a lot more info by just talking to folks in the book shop/cafe at the memorial, which was first class. This DVD gives you the perspective of the British Troops and how they coped & realised the mistakes that were being made with the then lack of medical knowledge (don't wish to give too much away). Filmed in a documentry style drama...so the camera work is a bit odd only because it zooms in here and there not a criticism just that i did not know what to expect of the film, pleasantly surprised and also added to our already gained knowledge. The British Army Barracks at Bergen Belsen has the name Glynn Hughes as you enter the camp, I saw this and wondered who he was.....now I know. Would recommend purely because of the fact that I was keen to see a film adaptation of how the British soldiers managed with the horrors/famine that they found in April 1945, learning some extra facts as well. So worth a visit.....Anne Frank and members of her family are buried there.........a decent film....well worth the watch at the price....lest we forget!
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Redfearn VINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw this film almost two years ago when it was shown on Channel 4 and it made a big impression on me then even though being a historian I have seen the newsreel films of Belsen and other Camps many times over the years.

Made on a small budget and filmed on a site in Dorset, the film tells the story of a group of medical officers struggling to cope with the terrible conditions in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp during the months of April and May 1945. Typhus had broken out and the local Germans had negotiated with British and Canadian troops a truce in order to allow the allies to help out with containing the disease to prevent it spreading further.

It soon becomes apparant to the allies that they have quite a task on their hands with hundreds of inmates dying every day due to disease and starvation.

Nevertheless, after a few weeks despite the death toll continuing to rise, they did eventually succeed in saving many lives.

Filmed in semi documentary style using hand held cameras in order to provide some authenticity, newsreel film of the actual scenes in Belsen are intercut and these scenes do make uncomfortable viewing.

Like I explained earlier, it was made on a small budget and it does show at times. Nevertheless, it has a very good cast, many of the actors really getting into their parts (Iain Glen, Corin Redgrave, Jemma Redgrave, Tobias Mendies) playing real life characters who understandably, were badly traumatised by their experiences in Belsen. There is a postscript telling the story of what happened to these characters during the post- war years.

A drama which really needs to be seen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Gerry J. Carter on 17 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My wife and I appriciated this film, as for myself I have had the opportunity to visit Auswitz, Poland (1980) so I have a better understanding than some of us today as to consenstration camps, so The Relief of Belsen although I have not actually been there my wife and I do have many thoughts (albeit that we are not Jewish).
In the scale of films, very good, in the scale of suffering.....................?
How can this period of time be quantified or indeed be measured?
I appreciate that you requested comment on this particular film, but maybe my additional comments won't go amiss.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diane Burke on 13 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm sure a lot of people have seen archive footage or even remembered the late Richard Dimbleby's words as the initial horrors of Belsen were released to the world. This film takes us on a different path with this theme. All scenes relating to any emaciated bodies or piles of dead bodies were not used. This film solely dealt with the people entrusted to dealing with the scale of the human tragedy unfolding before their eyes and their initial difficulties in trying to stop any more deaths.

It wasn't as long a movie as I thought and initially my husband thought it was a documentary so I suppose I could call it a docu-drama as it covered the harrowing first few days after the liberation of the camp and the people who lived close by being made to come and help sort things out as in dig graves, help bury the dead and so on.

It also showed the problems faced by the medical staff who were trying to prevent disease from breaking out and to keep those who were clinging to life from dying. However, the fact that the inmates were so severely malnourished, they were unable to digest normal food and it was only by the discovery that some famine relief type food that the British had access to was the key to keeping the survivors alive and able to go on with their lives.

A good part at the end was the "What Happened To" section at the end of the film where we found out how the chief protagonists carried on with their work and where they went to afterwards.

This movie was suitable for anyone over the age of 12 as there were no horrific death scenes or dead bodies - a very sensitive subject well acted and sensitively covered. A good addition to a War Collection
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