The Survivor (2021) - full transcript

Post World War II, Harry Haft is a boxer who fought fellow prisoners in the concentration camps to survive. Haunted by memories and guilt, he attempts to use high-profile fights against boxing legends like Rocky Marciano as a way to find his first love again.

Hertzko! Help me, Hertzko!

Fighting out of
Brighton Beach, New York,

with 13 wins, eight by knockout
and six defeats.

The pride of Poland
and the survivor of Auschwitz,

Harry Haft!

- Let's go, come on!
- Hit his head!

- Come on, come on, Harry.
- Knock him out!

Come on, Harry, counter punch.
Counter punch, Harry.

Yes, get him!

Kick his ass!

Counter punch, don't let him
smother you.

- Come on, make him chase you.
- Come on out there!


Come on, Hertzko. Dig in.

Don't get so tight.

- Get him!
- Come on!

Come on, off the ropes!

- Three, four...
- Clear your head!

- Six...
- Show him your hands.

Look him in the eye.

All right. All right,
all right.

Look what you did, you kike!

You killed him, La Starza!

Yeah, smart boy.
What a smart boy.

Busting up your hands like that.

Why don't you hit the walls?
They're a lot harder,

and rattles a lot less.

- Thirty dollars?
- Yeah.

And you're lucky to get it.

Got licked again,
didn't you notice?

- Thirteen wins.
- Seven losses. Six in a row.

What the hell's happened
to you, Harry? Huh?

"Pride of Poland," my ass.

I left the scissors
on the table.

See you in the morning.


Ding, dong, sing along.

- I'm seeing things.
- Seeing things?

I can't help it,
all the old things.

- The past is the past.
- I don't think

of the past. The past just
comes, one thing or another.

It's this or it's that.

This is why you don't look
so good in the ring now.

I keep thinking it'll go away.

- Why now?
- If I knew, I would know.

You need to forget.

When you forget enough,
then they're all gone.

- You don't think of the past?
- Sometimes.

But I stop it.

Ding dong, ding along.

In you two, there's a lot
of looking going on.

I'm gonna look at your face,
the way it is?

I just haven't seen
that kind of looking before.

Shh. She's singing like a bird.

Harry Haft? Emory Anderson,
I'm a journalist.

- I covered your fight.
- I could've beat La Starza.

I never gave up.
Write that down.

I'm not really interested
in that, but I am interested

- in your story.
- Everybody knows my story.

I'm the survivor of Auschwitz.

Sure, but nobody's asked
how you survived.

You should go, Mr. Anderson.

- How'd you learn to fight?
- Mr. Anderson,

my brother is not interested.

- Think about it.
- Yeah.


Again, someone wants to know.
You don't talk about it.


What if she reads
my name in the paper?

Eight years, Hertzko.

If you haven't
found her by now...

The sword swallower,
the fire eater,

the snake charmer!

You will see it all
with your own two eyes.

Let me ask you this, how much
would you pay to see something

that you've never seen before?

Something that you never
will forget,

a memory that will burn itself
into your mind

for the rest of your lives!

We're not even open yet.

- I'll wait.
- Mr. Haft,

I told you three days ago,
there's nothing new.

- Go home.
- So be that.

Meir Kri-shin-sky,
Belchatow, Poland.

- Kri-chin-sky.
- Like I said, nothing. I'm...

I'm sorry.

- Look again.
- Look again?

Look where?
I've looked everywhere.

- Look here, look there.
- That's...

- Look over there.
- I've looked everywh...

You keep looking
in the same place!

But that's where
we enter these names.

What's in there?
I don't see you looking...

- Mr. Haft...
- anything other than

- right here, over and over.
- This is it.

- I'm looking there...
- I said look again!

But there's nowhere
else to look.

- What's this?
- Put those down, Mr. Haft.

This? Look in there.

- I said, look again.
- Mr. Haft.

I said look again!

- Get off me!
- I said look again!

Miriam, call the cops.

Let him go, please.

- Come with me, please.
- You're crazy!

I understand
how frustrating this is.

I'm just trying to find her!
He doesn't look.

He keeps looking
in the same place!

Mr. Haft! He's doing
everything he can.

- I need some help.
- I promise.

I need some helpfulness.
He is not...

Would you please
shut up for a second?

And calm down.

Your anger
isn't helping anything.

What's your name?

Miriam. Miriam Wofsoniker.


We are trying
to help you find her.

But you have to trust us.

I'll trust only you.

Coming from you, it's quite
a compliment, I guess.


this Leah, she's a relative?


Do you know, she was taken

to Ravensbrück,
Belsen, or Auschwitz?



your family, do you...

do you know...


My mother, my father,
my sisters, they're all...

I feel them inside, gone.

- Sorry.
- But not her.

She's alive.

I fight Marciano.

How hard did La Starza hit you?

I could beat him.

Sweet Jesus. Look,

odds are, Marciano is gonna be
the next world champion.

He don't wanna fight you.

You're a tomato can to him,
you understand? A bum.

I'm the survivor of Auschwitz.

Ain't nobody care anymore.
Not when you keep losing.

I'm sorry, kid, but people
don't wanna hear that stuff.

- The war's over.
- Maybe you can't get a fight

with Marciano.

Don't you go getting salty
with me, man.

I can lock up a fuckin' fight
with Marciano,

- but not against you.
- I need a fight, Barclay.

- Why?
- My girl from back home,

she doesn't know that I'm alive.

She doesn't know that I'm here.

But if my name
is in the papers...

Harry, unless she lives
in the tri-state area,

and loves that sports section,
I don't like your chances.

Then, I have to be...
famous across America.

Barclay, I need a fight.

You smoke?


Not even in the camps?

No, you trade it for food.

- With whom?
- Guards.

They wouldn't just
kill you first?

Not if they wanted
the cigarettes.

You fill yourself first,
then you give the cigarette.

So, you know how to make deals.

You tryin' to make
a deal with me?

I want to fight Marciano.

And you need publicity?

To make Marciano pay attention.

Tell me your story,
how you survived the camps.

Nobody wants to hear
the truth about the camps.

Well, they shouldn't have
a goddamn choice.

Hey, if you're straight with me,

I will plaster your story
all over the East Coast.

Marciano will take note.

Maybe you gotta ask
your big brother first.

We don't talk here.

So, you were taken
to Auschwitz in 1943.

Auschwitz-Birkenau it became.

And you survived there
for six months.

Now, most people didn't last
more than a month or two.

Look, there's always more than
one side to a story.

I want everyone to know yours.

Whatever it is...

you can't shock me.



- No, no, no.
- Jean!

Back to work!

I said, back to work.

Hey, I said back to work.

On your knees, Jew.

Jean, Jean.

On your knees!
I said get on your knees.

I let you live. I let you work.

And you crawl
like rabid dogs, yeah?

- Yes, Sturmmann!
- Yes, Sturmmann.

I wasn't talking to you.

Get up. I said get up...

...or I'll throw you
in the fucking pit myself!



No! No! Don't! Don't.

Obersturmführer, It's my fault,
kill me. Not him.

Kill me, kill me. Please.

Kill me, not him.

It's my fault, please.

Get up.

Please. Kill me!

Not him!

Kill me!


Follow me.

Your friend, trading his life
for yours, I was impressed.

- You killed his wife.
- Not me.

The machine.

Welcome to Jaworzno.

One, four, four, seven,
three, eight.

You belong to me now.

- Hertzko.
- Hmm?

Hertzko Haft.

This is my name.

Deitrick Schneider.

So, what was his plan?

He thought I could be
a... an asset to him.

Hit me. That's an order.

Put your hands up.

And so he trained me,
and I have a good right.

You would tear me apart
if you could.

You want a break, Jew?

I want you
to become an entertainer.

Boxing matches on Sundays

to help the officers
pass the time, and...

to make me Reichsmark.

- Against who?
- Volunteers.

- Jews?
- Correct.

Winner gets special rations.

Do I have a choice?

There's always a choice.

Get in the corner.

Protect your balls.


you fight until one man
can no longer get up.

Make sure you're still
standing at the end.

Stay strong. There it is, focus.

Put your hands up.
Hands up!

Put them up! Hands up!
Hands up!

Come. Come.


Fight, or I won't stop them
doing what they want to you.

Go. Get your hands up.

Hands up now!


Yes! Yes!

I said the last
man standing wins.

What would you prefer...

a bullet or the gas?

To the corner.

Who do you love most
in this world?

Mother? Father? Brother? Woman?

Is she worth fighting for?

That's enough of that story.
Write your damn story.

I'm gonna sit
and watch the beach.


Hey. Beer?

Yeah, thank you...

Come, come, come, come.

You're a fucking traitor!

I told you to stay quiet.

- What... what did it say?
- I told you, you have to learn

to read English.

It says that you made a deal
to survive by fighting.

What else did you tell
to this writer?

- Nothing, the story's done.
- Done?

You don't think, Hertzko.
You never have.

This reporter, he digs.

What the fuck
do you think will happen

when he finds out
what you really did?

This is what I did.

I owe you my life.

A hundred times over.

But am I proud
of how we survived?

If I could cut every memory
from my head...

I would.

- Read me from what it says.
- I told you what it said.

Yeah, you told me what it says,
now read to me what

- and how it says.
- What?

Am I making it up?

He wrote it.
You didn't write it.

Yes, he wrote it.
But what it says

- is what I'm telling you.
- But what you're telling me

- is your words, not his words.
- Enough!

I don't have time to sit here
and read the whole story.

A story that
should have never been written.

I'm not anxious
to read the story

that you should've never
told him.

I'm changing the subject.

I decided to marry Rushka.

- I want you to be my shomer.
- Rushka?

The singer?


She survived too.

We understand each other.

- There's no questions.
- That's not love.

What are you? An expert of love?

With Leah, that was love.

Leah was just a girl
you fucked as a kid.

You need to learn
to read English.

You're too tight, man.
You're too tight.

Harry, you hear that?

Move to it. Come on,
dance to it.

Harry, come on, come on,
move to it, baby.

Look, stay loose.
Move your body.

Kick it all loose,
the head, the legs. Ha!

Harold? This is a crazy man.

Come on. You can hit
if you're loose, baby.

You can hit. You can hit
if you're loose.


Come on, Harry. Come on,
come on. Come on, come on.

Come on. Keep it loose, baby.
Keep the legs loose.

Hold the body. Hear the rhythm?
Listen to the music.

Okay, now try to let your body
go, try to let your body go.

What do you feel,
what do you hear?

I'm very uncomfortable.

You're never gonna stay still.

You're always gonna be moving,
all right?

Keep it all loose, keep it
loose, keep it loose. See?

Keep the head loose.
Don't let it all get tight.

Something like that,
create your own rhythm.

You're making
your own rhythm, that's fine.

Don't think too much,

don't think too much, don't.

- Just go.
- Like that?

Come on.

One, two. One, two.

Loose. One, two. One, two. Nice.

Come on, Harry.
Stay loose, stay loose.

That's it, that's it, tiger.

- Are we dancing yet?
- We're moving, Harry.

- You're doing something, baby.
- We're moving. We're moving.

- Face, face face...
- Where's your face?

You gotta go!

That's it, Harry.


The dago is in!

July the 18th. Rhode Island.

You're fighting
Rocky Goddamn Marciano.

Get your ass back to training.

Marciano, huh?

- Let's go, Jew boy.
- Damn straight.

- You're an animal, Harry.
- Yes! Yeah!


You hear me? Marciano's gonna
fight himself a fuckin' animal!

you all right? Hey?


There are people here, Rock.

You're making me look bad.

Work your body. Work your body.

You got an audience, work.

I don't recognize you.

They wanna see Rocky,
not your sister.

Hey, you okay, Leo?

Marciano sees you in here,
he'll rip your fuckin' head off.

- Move
- MARCIANO: Come on. Get in here,

help him up. Let's go,
let's get back to work.

I need a sparring partner.

I'm just here to watch.

You think
I don't know who you are?

He's a hell of a writer, poetic.

It's not all truth.

Ah, it never is.

I've never
seen one up close before.

I'm sorry.

I had a lot of family in Warsaw.
They all died in the camps.

It's a sad history
of our people.

We're always
the fucking punching bag.

You're Polish?

I was born there. Long time ago.

- Charlie Goldman.
- Hertzko Haft.

Harry is the name
America gave me.

My real name's Israel,
don't tell nobody.

Listen, Hertzko,
I got some advice for you.

Don't come here again.

- Any advice on the fight?
- Wise guy.


You know why I must win.

You can't.
All you can do is survive it.

Um, just to let everyone know,
the office is closing.

Please come back tomorrow,
9:00 a.m.


I'm sorry, we...

we don't have
anything else on Leah yet.

You're still helping me?

Yeah, why wouldn't I?

You read the story.
You know what I did.

I'm going.

I'll walk with you.

It reminds me of this old joke.

In the camps, we would joke
about the mother

and the young son
walking on the beach.

The... there was a wave
that the young...

You were telling jokes
while in the camps?

Uh, sometimes.

Um, to not think about
what was,

you needed it, to tell jokes.

For a few minutes,
you could... smile.

You get to laugh,
to hear others laughing.

Even if the joke
wasn't so funny...

it was still funny.

I... I never
would've imagined.


Well, that you would tell jokes
in such a horrible place.

I'm not very good
at telling jokes.

Well, many of us weren't so good
at telling jokes,

but it was good enough.

You wanna tell me
about this Leah person?


Maybe I wanna get
to know you a little better.

Are... are you married?

No. I had a fiancé.

He fought in the Pacific.

We were gonna get married after
the war, but he never came home.

I didn't have the chutzpah
to marry Steve before he left.


Yeah. Not a Jew.

Um, you think he's still alive?

I did for a long time.

Now I know,
and knowing helps. A little.

But you... you think Leah's gone?
Don't you?

No. I hope she's alive,
and we'll keep looking for her.

Why do you keep
looking at me like that?

Every survivor in this city
passes through my office.

I've heard every imaginable
awful thing.


You... you think you suffered

because some fucking shegetz
died in the war?

- I know what you're doing.
- You know less than nothing.

You don't wanna
tell me the truth, fine.

But you cannot
talk to me like that.

I'll talk to you any way I like.

Why? Because you earned it?

Because surviving something
terrible gives you the right

to be an asshole
to people trying to help you?

Miriam? Miriam?

I want to tell you...

Oh, Harry,
you gotta see this movie.

When the power
of Sampson knocks down

the whole goddamn temple? Jesus.

- What temple?
- What temple?

What, you mean to say
that you don't know...

...the story
of Samson and Delilah?

He's a goddamn Jewish hero.

Yeah, I know the story.
She cuts his hair.

- Yeah.
- I know that one.

The source
of his strength.

Anyway, Samson knocks down
the whole temple,

crushing everybody, people
are trapped, they're screaming,

and bye-bye Samson,
adios Delilah.

Why didn't he ask God for help
before he got blinded?

- Take it up with DeMille.
- Who?

Cecil B. DeMille, the director.

- Crusades, Cleopatra?
- What are you doing here?

I just need some photos.

You must be Pepe.

- Yeah.
- Emory Anderson,

I wrote the story
on your fighter

that's got
the whole city talking.

I just need a few photos
before the big fight,

ask some questions.
What do you say?

That's good,
that's good, right there.

By the way,

I heard about you
lookin' for your girl.

You should've told me.
I got contacts

all over the world.
I could help.

Why would you do that?

I've been divorced three times.
I'm clearly a romantic.

That's great, right there,
right there.

I'm gonna come around this way.


So... tell me about the Nazi.

Oh, come on. He was your coach,
he fed you, right?

He kept you alive.

This is good,
this is good, right here.


- Nothing more to tell.
- Well...

he made you the most
protected Jew in Poland.

I made him a lot of money.



I was a pet...

trained dog. Nothing more.

But even a beaten dog
loves its master.

All right... Oh, okay!
Hey, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry,
all I'm trying to say is...

Listen to me,
all I'm trying to say is

nothing is
black and white, okay?

That is the sweet spot
of a true story.

The cracks and the common ground
between good and evil.

Nazi and Jew.
That's all I'm trying to say.


I heard a story once.

Uh, about a... a prisoner who...
who lost his cap.

Oh, really, what's that?

If you show up for inspection
without the cap,

you can get killed.

So if this man was found
with no cap, he dies.

So he quickly goes back
to the barracks, he searches,

he looks, he sees someone
else's cap has been left.

He takes it, and he runs out.

The other man comes back
to the barracks.

He's looking,
he's looking for his cap.

Frantic. No cap. The man
who took his cap,

goes out to inspection,
knowing what would happen

to the other man
who no longer has a cap.

After inspection, he goes back
to the barracks

and he hears a gunshot.

He knows that
the other man was killed.

Was he wrong to take the cap?

He lived another day.

Now, these are the choices
we made every day,

choices made
when you were starving...

choices made when your...
your gums bleed,

and you're sick to your stomach
and you... you shit your pants,

and choices made
when you remember that...

you once had a family.

Choices made.

Take another picture.

I need another bulb.

- Get another bulb.
- All right.

- What is this?
- This is your stage.

I don't like that man.

Get in.

- Hands.
- Boxing gloves?

You wanted a real opponent,
you said?

He's a very good fighter.

Before the war,
he could have fought

for the French heavyweight
championships, they say.

- Jewish?
- No.

I'm here to see
you fight fairly.

We will use a bell to start
and stop the rounds.

Now go back to your corner,
and wait for the bell.

Hertzko, I have a lot of money
bet on you. Hmm?

Enough with the glamour
shots, Rita Hayworth.

Come on, get in here.


Hertzko, Hertzko!

You have to move your hands up.

You are fulfilling all of their

Push him back!



You wanna give up?



They will never
forget what you did today.

None of them.

They may hate you, Hertzko,
but you...

you have their respect.

- I have your respect?
- Of course.

- But you are SS here.
- So?

You hate me,
you hate people like us.

You hate...

I don't hate Jews.

That kind of passion
is for simple minds.

All this unpleasantness
in the camps was just...

just a means to an end.

When I was a... a student...

one work spoke to me about war.

"You must either conquer
and rule, or serve and lose.

Suffer or triumph.
Be the anvil, or be the hammer."

Choosing to be
the hammer, though...

doesn't mean I enjoy
striking the anvil.

- Then why do it?
- Because it's inevitable.

All great empires are built
off... off the destruction

of other people.

The Romans over the...
the Gauls.

The Normans, the Saxons.
The Mongols, the Chinese.

The Americans and the Indians,
and now...

...Germans and Jews.

Hitler was not the first to try.

Your race has been expelled
from every Christian country

for the past,
what... thousand years?

For... for doing nothing.
For living. For what?

But you didn't fight back,
did you?

- Didn't fight back?
- You didn't.

Any logical person
would see this coming

when Hitler rose to power,

the stripping away
of your rights,

the humiliations.

But still your people, they
refuse to save themselves...

- and leave.
- Mm.

I need to piss.

My family was from Belchatow,
for 200 years.

I'm Polish.
Where were we supposed to go?

I thought Germany could be made
great in a civilized manner.

Brutality followed by peace.

But the monsters of my race
were given free reign.


stupid men.


the Third Reich will fall.

And I will testify
to every horror.

If you want to shoot me,
you have to take the safety off.

"Didn't fight back"?

But tell me, my friend,
where will you go?

In a stolen SS car?

Ask yourself, is this truly
a survivor's move...

to kill the one man standing
between you and the gas?

Do you feel powerful?

I feel nothing.

In English, it's "cheers."

How do your people say?

- L'chaim.
- L'chaim.

Well... l'chaim.

To life.


Mr. Haft?


It's Miriam.

Oh, uh...
I have news about Leah.

- You found her?
- Well, not exactly.

But a survivors' organization
in Chicago

found a woman
who recognized Leah's name.

She says they made it
through Ravensbrück together.

Leah's alive?

Until May, 1945, at least.


Mr. Haft, I think
you should sit down.

Here. Drink that.

Brooklyn's best.

I looked for her.

In Belchatow. She never...

she never came home.
Where is she?

I don't know yet.

It's like a puzzle, I just have
to find all the pieces.

- Yeah.
- Thank you.

You're welcome.

Okay, I'm gonna go
get us registered in.

Keep the hands and feet.
Don't let the elbows flare out.

Turn the key. Turn the key.


You lost seven
of your last nine fights.

Marciano's bigger,
he hits harder.

He's got more experience.

Pugilistically speaking,

you were taught wrong
from the beginning.

What? You think I haven't tried?

I'm not blaming you.
I'm blaming the SS.

Look, here's the big secret.

Rocky's got a slipped disc.
He's hurting.

He wants to end
the fight quickly.

What do you do, Hertzko?

- Attack. Make him go backwards.
- First rule, Hertzko.

Never play a man
at his own game.

Nobody makes up a game
in order to get beat at it.

Come on, man.
Get to the good part.

I'll give you
two days' training,

but you don't tell nobody
I was here.

You understand? Nobody.

Two days?
Why would you help me win?

Win? Boychik, I'm just
giving you a chance

to lose with a little dignity.

I'm gonna get you bobbing
and weaving if it kills me.

- You hear me?
- Yeah.

Marciano is built
like a tank.

No, he's not.
And he's got those...

those short Tyrannosaurus arms.

That's the last time
I use this outhouse.

There's stuff down there
from the Revolutionary War.

Aaron Burr probably dropped
a load there.

Joe Lewis
trained up here.

- In this place?
- Man was the greatest.

- Is that coleslaw?
- Yeah, right here.

- Man retires after 12 years...
- Potato salad?

- ...the champion of the world.
- Yeah. Yeah.

Still can't get no respect.

- Why?
- You messing with me, man?

- Is there something wrong?
- Joe Lewis is a Negro.

Best I ever saw.
What's that meat?

You mind
if I ask you something?

One thing I never understood
about the Nazis.

Nazis. What's there
to understand about Nazis?

Whites here
don't like us

because of the color
of our skin. But your people,

you look just the same
as the damn Nazis. White!

Nazis don't agree.

No matter how you pray,
it always ends up

in the same place. Yeah?

People will always,
people to hate if they want it.

Hey, Harry, do they even got
spics and, uh, Negroes

- over there in Poland?
- No, none.

- No, really?
- So you know what that means.

- No. What?
- No good food, at all.

- You like the ham, Harry?
- Hmm?

The ham. You're eating ham.

That's okay.

God doesn't pay that much
attention to me anyway.

And think volume of punches,

because he sure as hell's gonna.

Volume of punches,
volume of punches. Volume.

That's it. That's it.

Your feet are either too close
or too far.

They gotta be in the right spot,
so we gotta fix this.

Now, look at the loop.
You see it's a U.

We want it straight.
Not too close, not too far.

Now you move. Now you move.

Look, see? Better balance.
Move, move around.

Don't stand in front of him

You know what the last guy
who fought Marciano said?

"It was like getting caught
in an airplane propeller."

Keep that balance. Go, go.
Let me see you do it.

Go on. That's it.
Pugilistically speaking,

what you gotta do is keep them
on the short breaths.

You move in, you punch him.

You keep him holding that
breath while you punch him.

If you let him
take a deep breath,

you're a dead man.

Volume of punches.
That's what's gonna happen.

I'll tell you what he does
before a fight. He sleeps.

- That's it?
- He lays down on a...

on a... on a...
...on the table.

You put a pillow under his head,
he's got the little sweet face.

He sleeps. You wake him up.
He goes out in a ring

and beats the shit
out of somebody.

Sure I can't convince you
to switch up teams?

Don't press your luck, Louie.

That's it, chin down.
Get in there and look at him.

Defense, defense. Come on.

Now we're talking.
Elbows in, that's it.

I saw the light.

Here. It's to help you sleep.

Ah, no pills.

You know, my big brother,

he was a Buffalo Soldier
in the Great War.

- Buffalo?
- Uh, colored fighters.

In September of 1918, they went
into the Argonne Forest

to push the Germans back.

He got pinned down
in a shell hole

for three damn days in the mud,

getting shot at
by the krauts, and...

watching his friends die.

Army sent him home
to my mama, uh...

shaking and screaming.

I know how this shit
stays with you.

With Clyde, it never ended...

not till, uh...

he ended it himself.

There's nothing wrong with me.

You religious,

- After the camps?
- Yeah, me neither.

But life makes you
wonder sometimes.

- I got to go back to Marciano.
- I know.

But one last piece
of advice.

Nobody expects you to win.

Nobody even expects you
to put up a fight.

And speaking to someone
who's been underestimated

his whole life...

you can use that
to your advantage.

You understand?

One other piece of advice.

Never buy anything
on the street,

especially diamonds.

I wish you blessing
and success, Hertzko.

Pepe said that someone
was waiting for me.

Didn't know you liked boxing.

Yes, sure.
Never miss a fight.

And Rhode Island in summer
is the best time to visit.

I figured you could use
a friendly face in the crowd.

Maybe we could
get coffee sometime.

Yes. Or maybe
we could go dancing.

I have to?

- A movie then?
- Yes, a movie.

- This it?
- Mm-hmm.

You know what
I would like to see?

On the Town.

- What is this?
- Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra.

I don't know this.

It's a movie, a musical.
It takes place in New York.

Ah, yeah...
...I don't like musicals.

It... in real life you don't go
singing to one another.

It's a make believe.

I haven't had much time
for make believe.

Maybe it's time you start.

I should get going,
get ready.

I'll be cheering for you.


Maybe you come
meet me afterwards?

- Maybe, yes.
- Maybe yes?


Harry Haft weighs in
at 174 pounds.

This isn't even
gonna be a fight.

Rocky Marciano weighs in
at 184-and-a-half pounds.

Yeah, Rocky.

♪ Get your kicks on Route 66 ♪

♪ Oklahoma City is pretty ♪

♪ When you get
Those kicks on Route 66 ♪


...out of Brighton Beach,
New York.

With 13 wins, eight
by knockout, and seven defeats.

The survivor of Auschwitz,

Harry Haft.

And, fighting out
of Brockton, Massachusetts...

Rocky Marciano!

Keep poundin' him!

Come on, don't be a target.

Come on,
get off the ropes.

Let's go! Come on.

God damn it!

Okay, guys. Break it up.
Break it up now. Break it up.

Hit him!

- Hit him!
- Beat him senseless.

You looked good
out there, chief.

Make him chase you this round.
Open up, open up.

Come on, Harry.

Make him chase you.


Aw, no!

Get him. Get him!

- You all right?
- Good.

- You okay? Look at me.
- I'm hungry.

Hungry? I'm hungry too.

Harry, Harry,
are you okay?

That doesn't look good.

You gotta double boil
the anchovies.

That's the way to do it.

And I'm gonna toast
the breadcrumbs,

the way you like it.

Now let's get this
over with, all right?

What's goin' on?

Keep your hands up,
keep your hands up.

Don't let him crowd you, okay?
Don't let him outthink you.

Hertzko, help!

Go on! Double him, double him!

One, two, three...

four, five, six.

Let's box!

Ref, what are you doing?


It was tough loss.

I'm done.

You had him going
in the first round.

You stepped inside, left, right!

That's it with fighting.

Not that I like this
boxing business for you,

but maybe you should
think this over.

She... she's dead.

- Who?
- Leah.

How did you find out?
What happened?

I feel this, uh...


It came over me.

- An emptiness?
- Suddenly, in the ring. And...

I feel she's gone.

This is the way you know?

The same way I feel when
what happened to our family...


I always thought that she died
with the family.

When I heard her father
was killed, I thought,

you know, all of them.

But you believed.

I fought for her, for Leah.

And that was
the only reason for...

for fighting, to be...
Was to be there for her. To...

I don't... The words,
I can't, uh...

The words
don't mean anything.

What's here is not... here.

Then it's a good time
to end all this.

Yeah, it's a good time.

I just can't think about

what the good part
of the good time is.

- What?
- I don't know.

I don't know what I say.

You want a ride back
to New York?

I'm taking Miriam back
with the machine.

I'll see her later.
Tell Miriam, I'll...

- I'll talk to her later.
- You sure? It's a free ride.

- I'm not charging.
- You're not charging?

You're a good friend.

- I'm your brother.
- I know that.

You're my best friend.

That, you didn't know.



Come here, Hertzko.

Where will you go?

The war is almost over.

- Let me go.
- Go?

Go where?

You murdered your own people.

Why like this?

Because it's my duty.

I saved your life.
I made you the hammer.

I like her for you.

She deserves better.

No man should be alone, Hertzko.
They're not built for it.

Now you sound like our mother.

Because she's not here
to tell you this herself.

Six million of our people
are dead, Hertzko.

Why did you survive...

if not to live...

if not to have children?

Why don't we dance?

The band's resting.

That's okay. Think of them
playing a slow song.

You always get what you want?

No. But I'm not shy
about asking.

How's my dancing?

Pretty good.

Sometime, I might try
dancing with music.

I like this music.

I think I forgot
my scarf. Will you come?

When I was a little girl, I...

before I had to sit
with the women,

I would come in here
with my father,

and fall asleep on his lap.

Listening to the songs
and the prayers.

It made me feel so safe.

Get your scarf, let's go.

You know you can come in.

It was cold.

My sister, she had...
she had just given birth...

only two hours.
A German soldier walked in...

grabbed the child
from her arms, took him.

Threw him into the back
of a truck.

Child of only two hours of air.

I come from a very...
religious people.

No one can tell me that a child
of only two hours of air

has the sins to be destroyed,

to be thrown
in the back of a truck.


But after all you've seen,
all you've lost,

all our people have lost,

isn't this place
more important than ever?

It's easy to find God
in a synagogue.

But where was God
when they threw that baby

- in the back of a truck?
- I don't know.

Why does this God
ask so much of us?

I don't know.

I come here to ask questions.

- Do you get answers?
- Maybe sometimes.

Well, this God
doesn't answer me.

Keep asking.

And in the meantime,
you can talk to me.

Maybe you should stop
looking for Leah.

I will share you with Steve...

if you can share me with her.

I can do that.

It's stuck.

Get under the light,
so I can see it.

- Harry.
- I almost have it.



I'll be right back.

Harry, it's all right.

To the victor goes the spoils.


Leah Koscinski from Belchatow.

I'm not allowed to mix
with the women's camp.

But I can get a message out.

Tell... tell her to survive.

Tell her, Hertzko will find her.

He's watching.
Wants us on the bed.


I can't.

It's okay.

We can just lie down.

I'm sorry.

It's okay.

We're closed.

Not even
for an old friend?

We were never friends.

Eh, maybe so.

Well, it looks like you've made
a nice life for yourself...

so what you do with this
is up to you.

What is this?

It says Tybee Island,
Georgia. But I'd call first.

I told you, Harry.
I keep my promises.

You be well.

So, that's two dollars
and 50 cents.

Will we see you
at Alan's bar mitzvah, Ronit?

Oh, I wouldn't dream
of missing it.

You wanna take my place?

He thinks he's funny.

Will you give me some grapes?

- Red?
- Red.

- Alan! Get down here!
- You're yelling at him again.

- He's lazy.
- Alan!

Alan, Dad wants you.

Get your gloves.

I'm doing my Hebrew study.

I said get your gloves.
Button that shirt.

Let's go.

Snap it! Snap it.

Fifteen rounds,
don't move from this bag

until you're finished.

Don't come home
until you're done.

Protect! Body, body, body!

- Where's Alan?
- Boxing.

- You just left him there?
- He has to learn.

- You're making him soft.
- You are terrorizing him.

If he doesn't know
how to throw a punch,

how can he protect himself?

From what, Harry?

He would have never
survived the camps.

And nor would your wife.

Do you need to teach me
a lesson too, huh?

Okay. That's enough.

I'll sleep on the couch tonight.

Kill me!

Did I hurt you?

- What were you dreaming about?
- Go to bed.

Go to bed.

You know, you'll have
to speak louder

when you stand on the bimah.

Dad told me
it doesn't matter, any of it.

Well, he's wrong.
It always matters.

Now get dressed for school.

He had a bad dream last night.
Why is he like this, Mom?

Alan... your father
will tell you when he's ready.

When's that supposed to be?
When I'm like 40 or something?

Alan, your father
loves you very much.

But he doesn't like me,
does he?

I gotta go change.
I'm gonna be late for school.

- Helene, time for school.
- I'm already ready!

Another nightmare?
Third one this week.

You're counting? I'm fine.

No, you're not fine.

Leave me alone, Miriam.

Why? I'm on your side.
I know everything already.


What haven't you told me?

I guess you could say
I had a friend, once.

In the camps,
we would look after each other.

His name was Jean.

If I had a piece of bread,
I would share it with him.

He would do the same with me.


I... I know him. He's my friend.

I know that.

But here, I'm your only friend.

I won't. Jean! I won't do it.

I was always impressed with him.

His life or yours?


Hammer or anvil? Your choice.


He kept saying,
"Hit me, hit me, hit me."

And when they dragged his body
out of that ring...

I fought again.

It keeps going on in my head.

And I can't stop it.

Harry, you gave
your friend a gift.

I'm here. He's not.
Tell me how that's a friend.

- You did everything you could.
- No, I didn't.

- I could have said no.
- No, you couldn't.

I could have stopped.

- I could have...
- No, you couldn't.

- I could have. I had...
- You didn't have a choice.

- I had every choice.
- That's not a choice.

- And I hit him.
- That's not a choice. No.

- You have to tell him.
- Tell who?

Your son.

- Tell Alan?
- Yes, tell him.

Tell him what?

He deserves to know who you are.

Who deserves
to have that kind of darkness

pushed inside of them,
inside of their children?

What sick, cruel person
will do that?

You already are!

I'm sorry.

I'll clean it up,
and I'll fix it.


Fix your family?

All right.

♪ Hello mother ♪

♪ Hello father ♪

♪ Here I am in Camp Granada ♪

♪ This is very entertaining ♪

I like this show.

♪ I went hiking
With Joe Spivey ♪

♪ He developed poison ivy ♪

♪ You remember Leonard Skinner ♪

♪ All the counselors
Hate the waiters ♪

♪ And the lake has alligators ♪

I'm gonna check us in.

You bring the bags?

I think it's raining.

Only a drizzle. It'll pass.

Pops, are you gonna swim
in your pants?

Let's go for a drive.

Alan, change
into your regular clothes.

- We just got here...
- Yeah don't... don't talk back.

You'll swim later.


Why are we here?

We're on vacation.

Stop lying to me.

You organized this vacation
out of nowhere.

You don't look me
in the eyes in days.

I'm... I'm going for a drive.

She's here.

We'll be at the beach.

If you want to come back to us,
you know where we are.

...a sandcastle
that's 50 feet high!

Same! It's gonna be
so hard to make, though.

Where's Dad going?

I'm sorry the weather
has been so unpredictable.

I, uh, bet the little guy
would like to swim.

- How is she?
- Well, as I said on the phone,

you know, she's grateful
for the good days.

Sarah, come say hi.
This is our daughter.

Our son, David, is, uh,
playing at a friend's house.

- Uh, this is Alan.
- She's been waiting for you.

She's, uh,
she's out in the dock house.

Uh, Alan, talk to Sarah.
Stay here.

Would you like
some lemonade?

I just made it with real lemons.

That would be great.



Every day
I'm thankful for him,

for our children.

And now he has to put up
with all this,

the doctors, the hospitals.

But he's good.

He's a good-looking boy.

Must take after his mother.

Still have your sense of humor,

even when
you're not speaking Yiddish.

Ah, some words in Yiddish
can never be translated.

Going to be all right?

There's nothing
the doctors can do.

You know...

in the camps...

when I wanted to give up...

I thought about the time
we spent together.

A few months. Can you believe
that's all the time we had?

Just a few months.

It kept me alive.

I believe that, Hertzko.

I believe that.

Because two young people

loved each other.

And we made it to this country.

We found a different kind
of happiness...

our children. Of our own.


thank you for loving me.

I saw this article...

the day before you fought
with Marciano.

- You saw that?
- I saw that.

It was the morning
after I married Michael.

I was so happy you'd survived.

Who is she?

She saved my life.

Alan, when you were born,
all I wanted was for you

not to have to make
the choices I had to make.

And for you...
not to grow up fearful that

someone or some people
would come after you

because of your faith.

I didn't want that fear
in your heart.

I'll tell you everything.

But just once.

I was in a concentration camp.

Alan. Go, uh, go put
on your swimming shorts.

- Have some fun.
- Great.

I never finished
telling you that joke.

- What joke?
- The joke

on the...
on the boardwalk, years ago.

- On the boardwalk?
- About... about the young mother,

the young Jewish mother
and her son...

- Ah, yes.
- ...walking on the beach.

They're walking on the beach.

All of a sudden, a wave
comes out of the blue,

takes the boy
out into the ocean.

The young mother, she screams.

"God, what have you done?

What have you done
with my only son?"

Out of nowhere, another wave

throws the child back
onto the beach.

She holds him, she squeezes him,
she kisses his head.

She looks up to the sky
and she says,

"He had a hat!"

We're a long way from our homes,

and away from much
that has happened to us, and...

to so many of us.

Now we're here
in this new country,

where we have been accepted,

and where we live without fear.

I would like to sing a song.

♪ My home sweet home ♪

♪ From the mountains ♪

♪ To the prairies ♪

♪ To the oceans ♪

♪ White with foam ♪