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Uprising - Jon Avnet, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Jon Voight

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

They did the one thing the Nazis never expected. They fought back. A true story.

The Nazis invasion of Poland in the fall of 1939 sent hundreds of thousands Polish Jews into a quarantined area which became known as the Warsaw Ghetto. The German troops were surprised to march into Warsaw to find such resistance by the proud Jewish population. This television mini-series dramatises the fighting spirit of the people who were proud to fight and willing to die for their honour.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Uprising theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film true history World War II Jewish ghetto Poland Warsaw Nazi internment resistance fighter

Persons of interest

  • Leelee Sobieski .... Tosia Altman
  • Hank Azaria .... Mordechai Anielewicz
  • David Schwimmer .... Yitzhak Zuckerman
  • Jon Voight .... Major-General Jurgen Stroop
  • Donald Sutherland .... Adam Czerniakow
  • Cary Elwes .... Doctor Fritz Hippler
  • Stephen Moyer .... Kazik Rotem
  • Sadie Frost .... Zivia Lubetkin
  • Radha Mitchell .... Mira Fuchrer
  • Mili Avital .... Devorah Baron
  • Alexandra Holden .... Frania Beatus
  • John Ales .... Marek Edelman
  • Andy Nyman .... Calel Wasser
  • Eric Lively .... Arie Wilner
  • Nora Brickman .... Clara Linder
  • Jesper Christensen .... General Kruger
  • Ben Crystal .... Julian Wald
  • Iddo Goldberg .... Zygmundt Frydrych
  • Luke Mably .... Zachariah Artenstein
  • Palle Granditsky .... Doctor Janusz Korczak
  • Nadiv Molcho .... Isaac Linder
  • Paul Brickman .... Screenwriter
  • Jon Avnet .... Screenwriter
  • Jon Avnet .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

I'll get this gripe out of the way first: there is no way in Hell that Mordechai Anielewicz would have biceps the size of tree trunks after spending four years in the Warsaw ghetto. Hank Azaria buffed up for the role and it just doesn't fit the part. He should be as skinny as a pole (even a Pole) due to poor nutrition and general starvation. Every other actor looks suitably emaciated except Hank and it stands out like a sore thumb. Having spent so much time, energy and money getting the film to look historically accurate, one actor's ego still manages to stand in the way of realism.

Meanwhile, Uprising is a suspenseful and action-packed retelling of an important story about the evil depths to which the Nazis sank, dragging the entire continent of Europe down with them. As a moral tale, it packs a mean wallop and would make a good teaching aid in any Australian high school. It also manages to show the European Jews as more than a bunch of sheep who went uncomplainingly to their demise, something which most films about the holocaust tend to gloss over.

Everyone acts well, but it is the unknown actors who really shine: there is a tendency to look at famous actors as famous actors rather than (in this case) fictionalised characters which occasionally made it difficult for me to suspend my disbelief. After all, I don't know the people about whom the story is written (although I had already heard of Mordechai Anielewicz through Harry Turtledove's fascinating alternate history of World War II in which aliens arrive to conquer Earth in 1942) so why should I recognise the faces of the people playing them?

Still, Uprising managed to hold my attention - after a slow start - and also to provide some cool shooting and blowing things up. Mmm... shooting and blowing things up...

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Languages: English
  • Picture:
    • Disc 1: Widescreen 16:9
    • Disc 2: Fullscreen 4:3
  • Special features:
    • Commentaries:
      • Jon Avnet
      • Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Jon Voight
    • Featurettes:
      • Breaking down the walls: The road to recreating the Warsaw Ghetto
      • Resistance - a historical documentary about Kazik and Eddleman
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Italian SDH, Portuguese, Spanish

Security censorship classification

M (Medium level violence, adult themes)

Surveillance time

153 minutes (2:33 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD rental: 26 February 2003
VHS rental: 26 February 2003
DVD retail: 26 February 2003

Cinema surveillance images

Uprising image

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