Is ‘The Survivor’ Movie Based on a True Story? Let’s find out. The Survivor is a biographical drama film directed by Barry Levinson and based on a script by Justine Juel Gillmer that will be released in 2021. Harry Haft, played by Ben Foster, was a real-life survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he boxed fellow inmates to stay alive. Vicky Krieps, Billy Magnussen, Peter Sarsgaard, John Leguizamo, and Danny DeVito star alongside Vicky Krieps. In September 2021, it made its global premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
In September 2021, The Survivor made its global premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. HBO Films bought the film’s distribution rights in October 2021. On April 27, 2022, HBO will premiere the film.
— HBO (@HBO) February 15, 2022
‘The Survivor‘ is an engrossing historical drama set during World War II. It is directed by Barry Levinson and tells the story of Harry Haft, a gifted Jewish boxer who is transported to Auschwitz concentration camp. To stay alive, he is forced to compete in brutal boxing fights against other inmates. Later, a traumatised Harry manages to flee to New York, where he trains to fight boxing legends like Rocky Marciano in attempt to restore his life and find his long-lost girlfriend.
‘The Survivor,’ an astonishing story about a man who defied all odds to survive,’ touches on key historical events and war crimes with its delicate and realistic storyline. Now, if you’re also curious whether this film was inspired by a real person, why don’t we find out together?
Is ‘The Survivor’ based on a True Story?
‘The Survivor’ is based on a true story, to be sure. It is based on Alan Scott Haft’s popular book ‘Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano,’ which details his father Herschel AKA Harry Haft’s real-life story. He was born on July 28, 1925, in Bechatów, Poland, and at the age of 14 he witnessed the German invasion and occupation of his country.
According to stories, Harry ran a smuggling enterprise with his brother to make ends meet during the Nazi rule. Harry was imprisoned and tortured at various Nazi slave labour camps because to his Jewish heritage, yet he was able to survive thanks to his well-built physique and characteristics.
In 1943, an SS supervisor recruited him and taught him in boxing, following which he was forced to compete against fellow prisoners in perilous contests that ended with the loser’s death. At the Jaworzno concentration camp near Auschwitz, Harry is said to have fought and won 76 such contests.
Harry and several other captives were transferred to Germany on foot in death marches when the camp was liquidated due to the entrance of the Soviet Army. In April 1945, he managed to elude one of these marches and, after murdering a German soldier, stole his uniform.
According to Alan, while travelling throughout the country in disguise, Harry assassinated numerous people who offered him refuge at their farms because he was afraid they had learned he was a Jew. Harry eventually found his way to a Displaced Persons Camp run by the United States Army in Germany.
Harry proceeded to fight professionally for the next two years, winning the US Army’s “Amateur Jewish Heavyweight Championship” in Munich in 1947. At the age of 22, he went to the United States with the help of a family in New Jersey the following year.
Harry participated as a light heavyweight prizefighter for money until 1949, winning 13 of his 21 contests. He went on to battle a number of well-known boxers, including Pat O’Connor, Billy Kilby, Johnny Pretzie, and Roland LaStarza, who was undefeated at the time.
Unfortunately, due to his severe losses, Harry’s boxing career began to deteriorate, and on July 18, 1949, he fought his most famous yet final battle against emerging champion Rocky Marciano. Despite giving his opponent a tough fight, Harry was defeated in the third round.
After that, he resigned from boxing forever and founded a fruit and vegetable shop in Brooklyn. He married Miriam Wofsoniker in November 1949, and the pair had two sons and a daughter together.
In 2003, Harry told his eldest son Alan about his experiences, and with the help of historians Mike Silver and John Radzilowski, he converted them into a book. Following the publication of the biography in 2006, Reinhard Kleist wrote a graphic novel based on it, which was published in 2011 in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In April 2007, Harry was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He died of cancer in November of the same year, at the age of 82.
‘The Survivor,’ in addition to Alan’s book, is based on Harry’s recorded testimony and historical information provided by the USC Shoah Foundation. Matti Leshem and Aaron L. Gilbert, the film’s producers, spoke on the film’s relevancy in today’s world in an October 2021 interview. ”
‘The Survivor’ is the true story of a man who faces the ultimate moral quandary in the face of one of the world’s biggest atrocities, Nazism,” they stated. As he negotiates his new existence and finds the woman he loves, Harry Haft’s adventure takes him from the depths of Auschwitz to the ring alongside Rocky Marciano.
“At a time when hostility based on race and belief is on the rise, Harry’s narrative is a reminder of overcoming adversity against all odds,” the producers noted. As a result, ‘The Survivor’ is an accurate portrayal of Harry’s life, as well as the lives of many other Jews who bravely braved the horrors of war.
While only a few people lived to tell the tale, the movie lovingly honours the memories and accounts of the thousands who died. Furthermore, impressive performances by cast members such as Ben Foster, Vicky Krieps, Danny DeVito, and Peter Sarsgaard, among others, help to bring the emotional story to life.