Genocide (1982): Oscar-Nominated Documentary, Narrated by Orson Wells and Elizabeth Taylor

Genocide, the Oscar-nominated Holocaust documentary, produced by Simon Wiesenthal and directed by Arnold Schwartzman, chronicles the catastrophe through newsreels, photographs, montages, animation, all accompanied by Elmer Bernstein’s score.

The film is at its most effective when it lets the facts speak for themselves.  The chronicle of European Jewish culture is too brief, with few hard facts, but when “Genocide” moves on to the Holocaust itself, it becomes forcefully emotional.

The narration, by Elizabeth Taylor and Orson Welles, is simple and matter of fact; some of the victims’ letters that they read are extremely touching.  The newsreel footage and still photographs reveal terrible sights, and with the evidence of anti-Semitism on the rise, the feeling is that it could happen again.