Directed by Academy Award-winner Barry Levinson (Paterno, The Wizard of Lies, You Don’t Know Jack) and based on a true story, HBO Original film The Survivor stars award-winning actor Ben Foster (Leave No Trace, Hell or High Water) as Harry Haft, who, after being sent to Auschwitz, survives not only the unspeakable horrors of the camp, but the gladiatorial boxing spectacle he is forced to perform with his fellow prisoners for the amusement of his captors. Unbeknownst to those who try to destroy him, Haft’s will to survive is driven by his quest to reunite with the woman he loves.
The Survivor is an examination of one man’s journey from unspeakable horrors to freedom, forgiveness and redemption.
Based on the book, Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano, by Alan Haft, the film is written by Justine Juel Gillmer (The 100), and features 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 (Latin History for Morons).
The Survivor is produced by New Mandate Films’ Matti Leshem, BRON Studios’ Aaron L. Gilbert, Baltimore Pictures’ Jason Sosnoff, and Levinson and Scott Pardo. Executive Producers are Joel Greenberg, Ben Foster, Danny Devito, Brenda Gilbert, Steven Thibault, Ashley Levinson, Anjay Nagpal, Ron McLeod, Jason Cloth and Richard McConnell. The film is from New Mandate Films and BRON Studios, in association with Baltimore Pictures, Endeavor Content, USC Shoah Foundation and Creative Wealth Media.
The film’s production was aided by a team at USC Shoah Foundation who provided detailed historical consulting in addition to access to a testimony of Haft, filmed in 2007 and preserved within USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive.
“There’s all these elements — between the acting, between the writing, between the cinematography — that somehow have to come together in a way to support the overall piece.”
Director Barry Levinson and actor Ben Foster take us inside the process of making the film.
“What’s so beautiful about this character are the moral ambiguities.”
From multiple physical transformations to intense research, Ben Foster discusses the process of bringing Harry Haft’s story to the screen.