Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

The Price of Survival 2003

De prijs van overleven

Directed by Louis van Gasteren

The Netherlands In Dutch and German with English subtitles
56 minutes Beta-SP

Director, Producer, Screenplay


Gregor Meerman


Daphne Rosenthal


Amsterdam Documentary 2003; Berlin 2004


A potent, personal documentary about the enduring legacy of Nazi war crimes, The Price of Survival describes the burden of guilt and trauma heaped upon the wife and three children of a Dutch concentration camp survivor. For almost half a century the man spoke of little else but the horrors he had endured and the atrocities he’d seen. The experiences of his children were of no interest to him. His daughters have never forgiven him, while his son has benefited sufficiently from a successful marriage and years of therapy to talk lucidly about his parents in this film. As the custodians of the death camp memorials testify, elderly camp survivors often ask to be buried at the camps, as though their rightful place is amongst those fellow sufferers who did not survive. It’s a request that is routinely denied. By the time you reach the end of this dark, provocative film, this refusal by a younger generation to yield a single further body to the camps seems a necessary, if presumptuous, assertion of spiritual recovery. — BG