Germany (MIFF 1991 , Documentaries)

This timely and fascinating account is the first Soviet film investigation of the mystery of the famous Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, who was credited with saving the lives of an estimated 100,000 Hungarian jews during World War II.

Director Alexander Rodnyansky, set out to expose in Russia the fate of "this selfless man for whom the lives of others were more valuable than his own." Using detailed investigatory techniques, and beginning before recent reforms in the Soviet Union made the topic more acceptable, Rodnyansky has incorporated testimony from a number of witnesses who claim to have seen Wallenberg, Russian officials and Wallenberg's family. The film relates what Wallenberg did during the war, then concentrates on what happened afterwards. Russian authorities have maintained that Wallenberg died of a heart attack in Lubyanka prison in 1947, but many in the West have long disputed this, arguing that he died much later or that he perhaps is still alive. It is this mystery which informs The Mission of Raoul Wallenberg. (P.H.)

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