‘The Survivor’ Trailer: Ben Foster Tries To Punch Away The Horrors Of War In Barry Levinson’s Harry Haft Biopic

Is it possible to simply punch bad memories away? We’ve seen plenty of films about prizefighters who use their time in the ring to overcome hardship. But few of them have had more to overcome than Harry Haft, and his remarkable true story of surviving WWII, a Nazi camp, and more is the basis for The Survivor, starring Ben Foster in one of his best roles in years.

As a Jewish man, Haft was one of many men captured and imprisoned in a Nazi camp in Auschwitz in 1942. There, he was given the chance to literally fight for his life against other prisoners. Losing would come with a terrible cost, but the cost of winning may have been worse. When he was finally freed, Haft fought to overcome the terrible memories of all he had done, while also building towards a championship fight against Rocky Marciano.

The film is directed by Barry Levinson and will be released by HBO, a place the veteran filmmaker is quite familiar with after directing Paterno, Wizard of Lies, and You Don’t Know Jack. Most recently he was part of the acclaimed Hulu miniseries, Dopesick.

Foster is joined in the cast by Vicky Krieps, Billy Magnussen, Peter Sarsgaard, John Leguizamo, Danny DeVito, Dar Zuzovsky, and Saro Emirze.

The Survivor debuts April 27th on HBO. It premiered last year at TIFF where I called it “a film worthy of the man who took all of life’s punches and lived to tell the tale.”

Travis Hopson
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.