The almost unbearably moving story of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, I Have Never Forgotten You takes us from his shtetl childhood to his 90th birthday party at Vienna’s Hotel Imperial, where Hitler once kept a suite. (“Now he is dead,” Wiesenthal tells the camera joy-fully, “and we are still dancing and singing.”) In between, director Richard Trank (The Long Way Home) gives us a spare, unblinking portrayal of the Holocaust, in which Wiesenthal lost his mother and 88 other relatives; after- ward, feeling purposeless, he devoted the rest of his days to nosing out Nazis across the globe, from Eichmann in Argentina to Hermine Braun-steiner in Queens. Wiesenthal’s motive, he always insisted, was not revenge but justice. Celebrity narration (by Nicole Kidman) and deft filmmaking necessarily take a backseat here to the anger, grief, and incongruous good humor of the man himself.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 15, 2007