TIGER WITHIN was another selected film shown at the Spokane Jewish Film Festival. Hatred, the Holocaust, grief, teenage homelessness, and family neglect shared the spotlight during this harsh yet, at times, humorous movie.
The biggest plus of TIGER WITHIN was Ed Asner portraying Samuel. He added a level of excellence to the believability of the story. His ability to show Samuel’s deep loneliness, hatred, and grief were exquisite to witness. He embodied his character to such an extent that he held the audience in the palm of his hand until the very end. Pitted against him was a newcomer playing the role of 14-year-old Casey (Margot Josefsohn.) She was an angry, hate-filled, confused teenage runaway living in the seediest areas of Los Angeles. Their scenes together were loud snippets of how hatred, fear, and ignorance can rear their ugly head in many forms. Their connection also gave the audience hope of what could be even when the world was filled with evil. The two of them were a constant push and pull of rediscovery. Ed’s impeccable comedic timing gave us the necessary relief to come up for air.
The intention of this film was to educate. There are sadly too many Holocaust deniers. We are constantly surrounded by ignorance of history. It is our job, to tell the truth, no matter how painful and shameful it might be. TIGER WITHIN demanded facing our fears and moving courageously forward. I thoroughly loved the concept yet was a smidge disappointed by the ending. I think the writers dropped the ball in taking this film full circle. It took us too quickly and conveniently to the necessary conclusion. I had way too many questions to feel totally satisfied. I also question the title choice. For such a deep and heart rendering film, it possibly could have dug deeper than going with the obvious.
TIGER WITHIN needs to be shown in schools throughout our country. It might change the minds of those who question humanity at its worst. The world can “never forget.” Those who suffered won’t be alive forever. We have a responsibility to tell the truths no matter what.
TIGER WITHIN isn’t currently available on any major streaming platforms, but more information on the film can be found here: https://tigerwithin.info/