NEVER AGAIN: Movie Review

This movie is awesome, powerful, and gripping and it’s just a simple documentary. It needs to be seen by everyone. I could stop there and that would be the friend-to-friend and peer-to-peer review, but then you would miss all the reasons why this film is so important.

It begins with a contemporary look at the antisemitism that has risen in the United States and abroad. It’s the shocking and wake-up call that is needed to face the unbelievable hatred that is focused on the Jews in our world. Footage shows the BDS Movement (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) and demonstrations on college campuses.

The murder of six million Jews in Europe in the name of the national Socialist party is documented and many pre-WWII sentiments and trends are highlighted that are eerily similar to current events. It’s incredibly unfortunate that efforts like this need to be made to make sure this never happens again. It is so shocking and a shame that there are voices out there that spread a message that the holocaust never happened and stuff like that, so Director Calvin Aurand takes this close look at anti-Semitism – what it is, when it proliferated, and why.

Then the movie unfolds and takes a close-up look at two divergent stories that intersect today – Holocaust survivor Irving Roth and former radicalized Muslim Kasim Hafeez. Both have vivid and stirring memories that they relate as personal narratives.

Irving Roth was barely a teenager when he and his family were forced to take a train ride in a cattle car from his home in Czechoslovakia to Auschwitz. This brilliant mind takes center stage in the film and one can’t help but cherish his contributions to the world and miss his passing in February of 2021. We are blessed to have his story told once again in this film.

The other narrative is equally compelling. Kasim Hafeez tells why he hated Jews and took the steps to become radicalized. He also shares how what he saw and experienced challenged his intellect and his views. Like an unnerving discomfort or thorn in his side, this notion that all he was taught about hating Jews was wrong kept eating at him.

I would hope that his testimony would do the same for his former colleagues.

Seeing all this woven together is compelling and moving. It’s a call to action of sorts, but first a call to action of the heart.

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.”

“We must insist that the story be complete, whole, and the truth.”

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