Susan Strasberg is the Parisian Jewish teenager who's orphaned by the Nazis and, in order to save herself, becomes in time the heartless 'Kapo' of a Polish concentration camp. The Red Army advances and an escape is effected during which the Kapo (who has by this time fallen in love with Russian inmate Terzieff) redeems herself through self-sacrifice. Pontecorvo, a former commander in the wartime Italian resistance, who co-scripted this luridly realistic film with Franco Solinas, strives to say something about the nature of survival in the pit of degradation, but becomes mired in an overloaded plot peopled with stereotypes and filled out with signposted moral questions. Five years later, having made his mistakes here, the director executed his flawless, harrowing masterpiece, The Battle of Algiers.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Franco Solinas, Gillo Pontecorvo|