Thursday, October 03, 2013

'Young' Perez: a knock-out film?

November sees the release in Israeli cinemas of a film about the diminutive Tunisian-Jewish boxer Victor 'Young' Perez. Although he survived Auschwitz, Perez died on the Death March from the camp in 1945.

Victor "Young" Perez , tells the true and incredibly moving story of the Tunisian Jewish boxer, who became the World Champion in 1931 and 1932. Victor Perez (Brahim Asloum) started training as a boxer at age 14 along with his older brother Benjamin "Kid" Perez (Steve Suissa).

He rose to great fame thanks to the help and guidance of Leon Bellier (Patrice Bouchitey) and had a relationship with French-Italian actress Mireille Balin (Isabella Orsini).

The 5'1", 110-pound Perez won the International Boxing Union’s crown with a 2nd-round knockout of American champion Frankie Genaro, becoming the youngest world champion in boxing history. Perez was arrested in Paris on September 21, 1943 and arrived at Auschwitz on October 10, 1943, as part of "Transport 60".

He was held in Auschwitz III/Monowitz. Whilst there he was forced to participate in boxing matches for the amusement of the Nazis. By 1945. Victor had survived 140 bouts in 15 months and won 139. Perez was one of the prisoners on the "Death March that left the camp on January 18, 1945.

Clip of the film shown on Israeli TV

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