In 2018, the world-renowned digital artist Marina Amaral is given unprecedented access to the archives at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, where almost 40,000 registration photographs of people who were imprisoned at Auschwitz are preserved. By colorizing the black-and-white photos taken when these individuals first arrived, Marina aims to bring to life the victims’ humanity, giving them their well-deserved story, legacy, and dignity. Sadly, for most of the helpless men and women, this would be the last image ever taken of them.
In a timeless and deeply moving story, Faces of Auschwitz follows the making of a partnership between the young Brazilian artist, a filmmaker, and a philanthropist separated by geography and culture; but united by their shared affinity to art, history, and truth-telling. This is a group of people thrown together by chance, but determined to explore what it means to preserve our past – and prevent the world from returning to its darkest days.
As the victims’ stories unfold one by one from the prisoner photo archives at Auschwitz, a particular photograph is located amongst the catalog of the dead. That opens up a whole new dimension to the story because, as the team will find out, this is not a photograph of a life that ended 75 years ago. Incredibly, ‘Ralph’ Hakman is still alive: 94 years old, living in Los Angeles – and ready to return to Auschwitz.
75 years later, Ralph, who was in daily view of the mass killings when he was imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau, shares his first-hand, dramatic account of the atrocities he witnessed at the camp and guides Amaral and the team through his story as they visit the locations where he lived the most harrowing years of his life.
Faces of Auschwitz is a groundbreaking and beautifully realized film about history, memory, friendship – and the power art has to change the world.
A release date is in the works.