A worthy memorial to Simon Wiesenthal, a man who had become a legend in his own lifetime, the documentary I Have Never Forgotten You... displays all the admiration, affection and love be expected from a film produced by the centre bearing his name. Some revered him as the conscience of the Holocaust, not resting until the last of the Second World War Nazi criminals had been brought to book; others reviled him as someone who would not let the past go and meddled in affairs that did not concern him
Extensive research has delivered the best excerpts from his numerous appearances, while interviews shot for the film include his family and Frederick Forsythe (whose novel The Odessa File is based on a Wiesenthal case).
Expertly inter-cut with archive footage, intelligently assembled with archive footage and narrated by Nicole Kidman, it has the potential to be an awards contender next season: don't be surprised to see it shorlisted for an Oscar in 2008. Distribution deals in Germany and US have been secured, with more sure to follow if the Berlinale response is anything to go by.
Born in 1907 in Buczacz, Galicia, Wiesenthal, an architect before the war, weighed barely 45kg when he was freed from Mauthausen concentration camp. Yet while his entire family save his wife were wiped out, his spirit was unbroken.
Soon he was working for the US War Crimes Committees, supplying a list of more than 1,000 war criminals and their crimes. Realising that the American sense of justice is flexible according to circumstance - more so with those who could help the US during the Cold War - Wiesenthal opened his own office in Vienna.
His invaluable contribution to series of famous cases, most famously the capture, trial and exceution ofAdolf Eichmann, established him as the world's foremost Nazi hunter, who despite the meagre resources of his office, never stopped digging fort he turth long after everyone else had given up.
Though accused by Mossad of taking too much credit for Eichmann's capture, and attracting ugly slurs for his allegations about the Nazi past of Austrian politicians, Wiesenthal still appears as a fascinating ethical icon.
Not the 'avenging angel' some thought him to be, the film shows him as a man who always insisted he did not seek revenge but accountability, not only for the Jews, but also for the communists, gypsies, gays and other victims of human intolerance.
Inbal B. Lessner