October 29, 1999 GENEVA, NY – The Academy Award winning film The Last Days, a documentary about five Hungarians who survived Hitler's final genocide push into Hungary, will be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus.
The film is just one part of the “Genocide in the 20th Century” lecture series being offered this year by the Colleges to improve understanding of all life-annihilation processes inherent in our modern world. Admission is free and the public is welcome.
The Last Days premiered across the country in the spring and set in 1944 tells the story of the time when the Nazis knew they had lost the war but continued to push and advanced troops into Hungary in order to eliminate Jews. The makers of The Last Days personalized that grim story by telling the story of the five Jews as they recalled their childhoods, their imprisonments, the deaths of friends and family, and their ultimate release, against all odds, into a free world.
The film is the first feature documentary created by Steven Spielberg with support from the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, a foundation he established in 1994 after filming Schindler's List to chronicle, “before it is too late,” the firsthand accounts of Holocaust survivors and witnesses. In keeping with Spielberg's vision, the Foundation has created and continues to develop the technology to make visual histories accessible in ways never before imagined.
The showing at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is part of the series which continues to provide guest lectures, in addition to art and the performing art, films, and readings. Michael Dobkowski, professor of religious studies at HWS and an expert in the Holocaust, has organized the series. He said the past century's genocides include not only the Holocaust but genocides in Armenia, the Stalinist gulag, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the killing fields in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Kosovo. “All combine to haunt the imagination,” Dobkowski said.
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