Some documentaries can be hard to watch, yet it’s important that you do. Four Winters: A Story of Jewish Partisan Resistance and Bravery is one such film. Julia Mintz writes and directs this film that explores the Jewish Partisans. They’re a group of men and women who escaped the horrors of the holocaust to fight the German army from the forests of Eastern Europe. It’s a film that will bring tears to your eyes. It will also bring the occasional smile at the inspirational tales of bravery and defiance of those must fight to survive.
It’s one thing to watch a film like Schindler’s List that is based on a true story. But it’s another thing entirely to watch someone tell how they watched their friends and family die around them as tears roll down their face. Hearing the survivors’ first hand accounts of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, how they were forced from their families. Stories about how they dug graves and told to strip so the Nazis can shoot and bury where they toiled will make you cry along with them. On the other hand, hearing how they escaped capture, banded together with others, and fought back will inspire you to never give up. The Jewish Partisans were pulled from their innocence to become fighters in a war for their survival. They fought a war many never would have believed the Jewish people would be in.
Many today try to rewrite history and tell stories that aren’t true, or believe that some stories are too horrid to be remembered. Mintz clearly is one of those who believe that people should never forget history. By letting these survivors tell their stories, she is allowing them to teach us that our past should never be ignored or forgotten.