The Survivor: Release Date, Cast, And More

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Following the film's world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, HBO Films acquired the exclusive North American rights for Barry Levinson's "The Survivor" in an eight-figure deal, one of the largest in TIFF history. Half of the film is shot in black-and-white to reflect the bleak atrocities of the Holocaust, shown in flashbacks as protagonist Harry Haft tries to adjust to the world post-war. The film marks a reunion for Barry Levinson with HBO with Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming stating:

We are immensely proud to bring THE SURVIVOR to the HBO and HBO Max audience. Barry's meticulous exploration of this true story of unimaginable choices, perseverance, and redemption coupled with Ben [Foster]'s transformative performance will captivate viewers and stay with them long after the credits roll.

"The Survivor" is a difficult story to tell, but one that is as important as ever.

The Survivor release date and where you can watch it

The HBO original film will debut on Wednesday April 27, 2022 at 8 P.M. ET/PT on Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day. The film will stream on HBO with a subsequent streaming release on HBO Max.

What is The Survivor about?

"The Survivor" is based on the unbelievable true story of Herschel "Harry" Haft, a Polish-born Jewish man who was sent to Auschwitz at the age of 17 and miraculously survived. During his time at the Nazi slave labor camp, he was beaten and starved but after an SS overseer flagged his athletic build, he was trained to be a boxer (while still being starved) and forced into fights to the death with other captives in front of the military personnel. Haft both remarkably and horrifically survived 76 fights in total.

Haft managed to survive the Holocaust by murdering a German soldier and taking on his identity until the end of the war, even going so far as to killing two farmers who harbored him when he feared they had learned the truth of his identity. Haft's story is not meant to be inspirational, but horrific look at the realities forced upon the Jewish people who managed to escape genocide at the hands of the Nazis. After the war, Haft had a brief career as a boxer in the United States, continuing to grapple with the traumatic circumstances that taught him how to box in the first place. In April 2007, Haft was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame at the age of 82. He passed away later that year.

The cast of The Survivor

"The Survivor" reunites Levinson with Ben Foster ("Leave No Trace," "Hell or High Water") whose breakthrough role was in Levinson's film, "Liberty Heights." The film also stars Vicky Krieps ("Phantom Thread"), Billy Magnussen ("No Time to Die"), Peter Sarsgaard ("Jackie"), Saro Emirze ("Wilsberg"), Dar Zuzovsky ("Hostages"), Danny DeVito ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), and John Leguizamo ("Bloodline").

The Survivor director, writer, and more

Academy Award-nominated Barry Levinson directed "The Survivor" from a script by Justine Juel Gillmer ("The 100"). The film is produced by New Mandate Films' Matti Leshem ("The Shallows"), BRON Studios' Aaron L. Gilbert ("Bombshell," "Monster," "The Front Runner"), Baltimore Pictures' Jason Sosnoff ("Paterno" and "The Wizard of Lies"), Levinson ("Donnie Brasco," "Bugsy"), and Scott Pardo ("Hope & A Little Sugar"). Joel Greenberg, Ben Foster, Danny Devito, Brenda Gilbert, Steven Thibault, Ashley Levinson, Anjay Nagpal, Ron McLeod, Jason Cloth, and Richard McConnell are all executive producing. The film was made in association with Baltimore Pictures, Endeavor Content, the USC Shoah Foundation, and Creative Wealth Media.

To keep the story as authentic and respectful as possible, a team at the USC Shoah Foundation aided the production in historical consulting as well as providing access to a 2007 testimony of Haft's preserved at the USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive.