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Raoul Wallenberg: Between the Lines (1984)


Raoul Wallenberg was a Swedish diplomat who undertook a one-man volunteer mission which saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazi extermination camps in 1944–45. Through many interviews and extensive use of historical footage, the film outlines the political background of the day and his life and mission prior to and during the war. Wallenberg was taken into custody by the Russians in 1945 and his fate after this point remains a matter for conjecture. The film examines the evidence about what might have happened to him.

Curator’s notes

Governments do not come out of this affair with any credit, least of all the Swedes, Russians and Americans, all of whom had their own reasons, it seems, for not resolving the matter of Wallenberg’s disappearance. This was despite persistent reports, well into the 1970s, that he was still alive and imprisoned in the Soviet Union.

This is a heartfelt but thorough examination of the tragic case of an extraordinary humanitarian who fell through the political cracks to be metaphorically buried alive.

Raoul Wallenberg: Between the Lines was released in Australian cinemas on 24 April 1986. It won the 1985 AFI Award for Best Documentary.