Movies related to the second World War are always interesting. It's fascinating to observe how the moviemakers twisted the reality into their plots.
Then, there were movies that used the war as little as possible, and made movies completely on their own skill. Like The Pawnbroker.
In the early 1960s, Sol Nazerman (Steiger), a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, owns a small pawnshop in Spanish Harlem. Stonily impassive, he watches the small-time crooks and prostitutes hock their belongings and stolen goods day after day, and endures the flashbacks that hit him with terrifying regularity.
The only person who rouses some life in him is his energetic young employee, Jesus Ortiz (Sanchez), a former hoodlum trying to put his past behind him. But one of the shop's regulars is Rodriguez (Peters), a hood who uses the place to launder money and cover his various other shady enterprises.
Sol will have to decide whether to submit to the same kind of injustices that destroyed everyone he loved two decades before, or stand up to them. Shot by director Sidney Lumet in gritty black-and-white in 1964, this was one of the first movies to confront the experiences of holocaust survivors, and wears reasonably well despite all of the stories that have been told and filmed since. Steiger is magnificent.
Watch this incredible movie to understand the true meaning of moviemaking.