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Primo Levi's Journey (Unrated)

Release Date: August 17th, 2007 (Quad Cinema) by The Cinema Guild.
Directed by Davide Ferrario.
In Italian with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about the eight-month journey of Holocaust survivor Primo Levi from Auschwitz, Germany to his home in Turin, Italy.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Narrated by Chris Cooper, Primo Leviís Journey has plenty of picturesque sights, but often lacks focus and fails to be compelling enough. Director Davide Ferrario doesnít just retrace Primo Leviís thousand-mile road trip throughout Eastern Europe after his release from an Auschwitz concentration camp in 1945, but also stops along the way to point out how each country has evolved. As he travels through Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Austria, much of the film feels like a Readerís Digest version of a history lesson. The economic, political and social changes in each country deserve a documentary of their own. Ferrario should have focused much more on Primo Levi rather than on the locations he passed through. Excerpts from Leviís book about the journey, The Reawakening, read by Chris Cooper, provide for some interesting and eloquent observations, but not enough to hold your interest. This works best as a mildly entertaining travelogue the many breath-taking, colorful sights shown throughout the long, somewhat tedious journey.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Somewhat tedious, unfocused and lacking insight into Primi Levi himself.


IN A NUTSHELL: Breath-taking and mildly entertaining, but slighltly tedious, unfocused and lacking crucial insight into Primi Levi himself.


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