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March 25, 2022 12:58 pm

HBO Reveals Trailer for Film Based on True Story of Holocaust Survivor, Boxer Harry Haft


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Ben Foster in “The Survivor.” Photo: Leo Pinter/HBO.

HBO debuted on Wednesday the official trailer for its original biographical film about Auschwitz concentration camp inmate and boxer Harry Haft, who was forced to fight fellow prisoners for the amusement of Nazi officers.

“The Survivor,” which stars Ben Foster in the lead role, is based on the true story of Haft’s experience at Auschwitz, where a Nazi officer forced him to participate in boxing matches against other prisoners to entertain his captors. While the winner of the bout survived to fight again, the loser was shot by Nazis or sent to the gas chamber.

“Unbeknownst to those who try to destroy him, Haft’s will to survive is driven by his quest to reunite with the woman he loves,” WarnerMedia said in its description of the film. The network added that the movie is “an examination of one man’s journey from unspeakable horrors to freedom, forgiveness and redemption.”

Set after World War II, the film shows how Haft, after surviving Auschwitz, moves to New York and “attempts to use high-profile fights against boxing legends like Rocky Marciano as a way to find his first love again,” said BRON Studios, one of the film’s producers.

“The Survivor” is based on the book “Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano” by Alan Haft and will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on April 27 in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day. It also stars Vicky Krieps, Billy Magnussen, Peter Sarsgaard, Saro Emirze, Dar Zuzovsky, Danny DeVito and John Leguizamo.

It was directed by Jewish Academy Award-winner Barry Levinson, who cast Foster in his first film “Liberty Heights,” and written by Justine Juel Gillmer. A team at the USC Shoah Foundation helped with production by providing historical consultations and access to testimony by Haft that was filmed before he died in 2007 and preserved in the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.

“At a time when hatred based on race and belief is escalating, Harry’s story is a reminder of overcoming adversity against all odds,” the film’s producers Matti Leshem and Aaron L. Gilbert said in a statement when the project was first announced.

Watch the trailer for “The Survivor” below.

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