A poignant documentary that utilizes archival footage, reenactments, and narration to deliver a vibrant story of a dark time in human history, and the spark within that darkness that refused to be extinguished.
SYNDROME K is a film that tells the story of the brave Roman Catholic doctors who concocted a scheme to fool Nazi soldiers with the threat of a deadly new virus that they used as a smokescreen to hide their true intentions. With the soldiers afraid to go near the infected ward, the doctors hid Jewish people so they might escape the cruelty of the Nazi regime.
This documentary is moving and dynamic. Narrated by the late Ray Liotta, this movie packs an emotional punch not only because of the subject matter, but it also one of the last films Liotta worked on before his recent death. The three doctors who were responsible for the ruse that was Syndrome “K” were Adriano Ossicini, Giovanni Borromeo, & Vittorio Sacradoti, who worked at a Vatican-affiliated hospital during the Holocaust and the Jewish purge of Italy. Many of the Jews caught during this time were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943. The doctors knew they could potentially be caught but risked everything to save as many Jews as they could and honor their oaths as doctors.
Director Stephen Edwards crafts a deft documentary that doesn’t mince words with his subject matter. He shows the lead-up to the invasion of Italy by the Nazis, and the fear they struck in the hearts of the Italian people, even the Pope.
As a film, it’s very well done, but as a chronicle of this period of history, it’s essential viewing for anyone that struggles with the reality that is fascism and its effects on the Jewish population, and the world.
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