‘Those Who Remained’ Review: Managing Unimaginable Grief
Debuting Hungarian director Barnabás Tóth’s 2019 film, ‘Those Who Remained’, is a lyrical and poignant Holocaust drama that depicts the healing process of two traumatised individuals who find solace in each other’s companionship after suffering immense losses during the Second World War. Despite being spared of graphic violence, the film manages to convey the harrowing memories and grief that haunt the survivors even long after the war has ended.
The film begins with the liberation of the concentration camps, and we find out that the protagonists – a 42-year-old doctor named Aldo (Károly Hajduk) and a 16-year-old orphan girl named Klara (Abigél Szőke) – have both lost their family members to the war. Aldo has lost his entire family, while Klara lost her parents and younger brother. Their shared grief binds them together, and they slowly start to heal each other’s emotional wounds.
The film is a powerful exploration of the intricacies of human emotions and interactions, particularly those of love, affection, and loss. Aldo, who has been living a life of solitude after the war, is hesitant to let someone into his life, but eventually finds solace in Klara, who fills the void in his life left by his deceased wife and daughter. Klara, on the other hand, finds a father-figure in Aldo, who guides her through her tumultuous teenage years.
Despite the dark subject matter, ‘Those Who Remained’ is a hopeful film that showcases the resilience of the human spirit. The cinematography and the music complement the tender and introspective tone of the film perfectly, creating a sense of intimacy and warmth that is rare to find in Holocaust dramas.
In conclusion, Tóth’s ‘Those Who Remained’ is a beautiful and heartbreaking film that manages to convey the unimaginable grief and loss that Holocaust survivors had to endure while also celebrating the healing power of love and human connection. It’s a must-watch for anyone interested in poignant and emotionally resonant films.