Review: The Eichmann Show

“When we first arrived here, they did not believe us. They said such things were not possible. So we stopped speaking about it… Now they listen.”

This is the final statement from Mrs Landau, as she reveals the concentration camp tattoo on her arm to Leo Hurwirtz. This is the scene that encapsulates the entire drama of both the film, and the true reality of Holocaust denial that existed until long after the war ended. The Eichmann Show perfectly captures how the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the most prominent architects of the Final Solution, opened the eyes and ears of the rest of the world. 

The film follows Martin Freeman as Milton Fruchtman, an American producer, and Leo Hurwitz (portrayed by Anthony LaPaglia), a director blacklisted by the McCarthyites, as they pursue an international broadcast of Eichmann’s trial which they intend to be a masterful exploration of the nature of evil exacerbated by the power of television. 

Archival footage of the actual trial was combined with the drama, perfectly encapsulating – and demonstrating to the viewer – just what was at stake with this trial, both in real terms and for Hurwitz and Fruchtman. Hurwitz’s obsession with Eichmann’s refusal to admit guilt and inability to acknowledge the evil he had perpetrated certainly aided in illustrating how little power to shock the atrocities committed by the Nazis have lost over time. 

The use of clips from the trial of witnesses recalling the horrors that they had witnessed, combined with an intensely powerful script remind us that without knowing the truth, one cannot prevent such atrocities from recurring once more. 


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