Many movies regarding the Holocaust focus on showing suffering at camps or the ruthlessness of the military. Phoenix differs by focusing on humanity’s initial reaction: disbelief. How could this happen? How could this be? How could people do this to one another? Instead of showing masses of people experiencing cruelty, the movie explores the depth of betrayal between a man and wife. The slow realization that our protagonist may never find complete resolution or happiness post-war–that she may never fully heal–captures the bitter void that victims feel.

Subtle, mature, and delicate acting exists throughout this film.