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4.3 out of 5 stars80
4.3 out of 5 stars
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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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55 comments|77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 June 2011
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 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 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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VINE VOICEon 16 March 2010
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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on 20 January 2010
Having watched this DVD and visited the Belson site and Bergen/Belson army camp
you come to realise how big this area was.
You see the actual buildings in the army camp that you see in the DVD,and you can imagine the fear that the prisoners must have felt.
I stayed in ex SS admin.block for 7days and could not stop my mind wandering back
to what must have gone on in that area.
How the local German population can say they knew nothing about Belson is beyond me.
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on 3 August 2014
A well made television movie, which would have been a documentary in the past, that uses real black and white video pictures to convey the reality and horror of the situation. Reasonable acting though perhaps we could have done without the modern day obligatory romance and sex! I would not watch this video again.

Sex seems to be every where - why? It is an extremely boring, highly repetitive and greatly over rated pass time. I find sex scenes in movies boring to the point of insulting my intelligence and patronising for the actors!
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on 7 June 2014
I watched this movie and was particularly impressed with the clever editing of real footage melding seamlessly with that of the film itself. It gave even more reality to such a tragic episode in history. Arrived with other items as requested, well wrapped - as is Amazon's claim to fame. I recommend the movie.
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on 4 January 2013
Based on fact, this drama describes the "battle" a medical team had with disease (principally typhus) and hunger, working with different diets, to prevent further deaths when Belsen was finally liberated. Over a period of four weeks the drama unfolds and eventually lives are saved.
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on 21 June 2014
This is made of personal descriptions , photos and records kept and it reveals a view of Belsen as it was for the prisoners
and the mediacl and maintenance teams. It is very moving . My mother was on of the team who went in to care for the prisoners
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on 19 May 2015
The scenes in this film are quite harrowing, and can be upsetting so be prepared. The film, was more like a documentary to a certain degree, and yet it was not, this probably sounds stupid, but if you watch the film you will understand what I mean. Lots of information on what was discovered when the forces discovered the death camp. It certainly brings home just what the Nazis were up to. One cannot believe that human beings were capable of such horrendous cruelty. If there is a such a place as hell those death camps were it.. and this film is proof of it.
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on 25 August 2015
An intersting movie about the last few days of the war and the first few days of the liberation of Belsen and the horrific scenes the British Army found there. The film used real footage from the time, which was extremely confronting, but that was the point. Overall, it focussed a little too much on the relationships between the British Doctors and Red Cross staff, and too little on the inmates who were being treated for my liking, but it was well worth seeing.
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