In Search of Lost Love
Widower Joseph Rabin (Kirk Douglas - Saturn 3) and his daughter Marcy (Pam Dawber - Trail of Tears) are heading to Israel to meet up with other Holocaust survivors for a gathering. But Joseph has an ulterior motive for going as whilst after the war he moved to America and settled down he had a life in Lodz, Poland before the Holocaust including Leah (Chana Eden) his pregnant girlfriend. But having been separated during the Holocaust he never found out what happened to Leah or their child and hopes to find out during the gathering.
In the 30 plus years since Kirk Douglas starred in "Remembrance of Love" there have been many more movies which tackled the subject of the Holocaust and having watched many of the more recent movies it is much harder to watch "Remembrance of Love" as various issues are more obvious now than they would have been. But whilst there is no denying that "Remembrance of Love" has its issues it is certainly worth watching for those who are either a fan of Kirk Douglas or interested in movies about the Holocaust.
Now "Remembrance of Love" is a combination movie as it tries to cover various aspects; we have a dramatic recreation of the past with Kirk's son Eric Douglas playing the younger version of Joseph Rabin in Poland, we also see the Holocaust survivors trying to uncover what happened to past love ones and those they met in the likes of Auschwitz and then there is the love story featuring Joseph trying to learn what happened to Leah and their child. The combination works in one way as it keeps things interesting with the various plots stopping it from becoming too maudlin or too romantic but at the same time it does water down the movies impact and compared to more recent Holocaust movies "Remembrance of Love" is not as hard hitting.
But whilst "Remembrance of Love" covers numerous points with its varied storylines it is first and fore mostly a love story with the widowed Joseph trying to discover what happened to Leah. It is touching and has a nice romantic angle which whilst melodramatic in places doesn't descend into mush. Much of that is thanks to the casting of Kirk Douglas who treats his characterisation with the appropriate respect and sensitivity to make it a mature performance rather than an over the top one. It is the same with Robert Clary, a real Holocaust survivor who stars as himself, because whilst his character is amusing he doesn't over do it, keeping it respectful.
What this all boils down to is that "Remembrance of Love" is now an interesting movie although one which is understandably weaker than many of the more recent movies about the Holocaust. As a TV movie it greatly benefits from the casting of Kirk Douglas who's respectful performance elevates the entire drama.