Prosecuting Evil (2018)

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Prosecuting Evil: Directed by Barry Avrich. With Benjamin Ferencz, Christian Wenaweser, David Scheffer, Alan Dershowitz. A portrait of Ben Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg Trial prosecutor, who continues to wage his lifelong crusade in the fight for law and peace.

“As a bio, this is a good historical story. But this film goes farther, which is also part of Ferenczu0026#39;s life, but itu0026#39;s very one-sided. The film begins with overly dramatic music and slick snippets from the film. Then it settles down into Ferenczu0026#39;s story as the prosecutor at the Nuremberg Nazi Trials, which is pretty fascinating (he was only 27!) and emotional, as he is also Jewish. He arrived soon after the camps (which) were liberated by the US and saw unimaginable things, some of which he is able to talk about, in a limited fashion.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThere are few sources or interviews here, other than Ferencz, and of course, few of his own generation, as he is 99 (not sure how old at time of filming, although at least 94+). However, he serves as one of the few surviving witnesses, and a seemingly competent one, of the Nazi atrocities and counter to Holocaust deniers. That Nuremberg was not well received in the US is mentioned, with much more time given to German opposition. I find the US opposition much more interesting, esp as I was unaware of it, although I was born just a few years after WWII ended.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe whole story of the Intl Criminal Court (ICC, based on the Rome Statutes), which he helped organize, is not told here. Just more uplifting music as his vision of a perfect world is laid out. The way politicians and the press speak of the ICC and its trials, I thought we were full signatories, but learned from this film that we are not (even though President Clinton signed the Rome Statues, Bush dismantled them upon taking office, and Obama spoke against (which is not mentioned in the film, so itu0026#39;s a bi-partisan thing)). There are lots of world politics involved, and one can ask why itu0026#39;s Euro-centric or why certain countries havenu0026#39;t been prosecuted, or why mostly African countries have, since WWII (apparently they asked the ICC to, excepting RSA). Granted, itu0026#39;s not a doc about ICC, but a lot of minutes are devoted to it here and things are less rosy than painted in the film. No doubt the ICC might have more teeth and more complete criminal u0026quot;lawu0026quot; laid out, by now, if the US had been involved all this time.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAs a bio, and bios of peaceniks and human rights advocates are generally benign, it succeeds (thus my rating), esp if you do no research and take it at face value (and I am peacenik myself). As a complete doc, it succeeds much less. I would have rated it an 8 or 9 otherwise. Itu0026#39;s very well done, which sometimes means u0026quot;slicku0026quot;, but doesnu0026#39;t always mean complete or fully truthful.”


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