On the eve of the Nazi invasion of Kiev in 1941, two families -- one Jewish and the other Ukrainian -- ponder what the future may hold for them in director Jeff Kanew's 2003 war drama Babij Jar. Genady Lerner (Michael Degen), a Jew and the patriarch of a relatively large extended family, watches with profoundly mixed emotions as the Russian army retreats from the Ukrainian city under intense bombardment from the advancing Nazi army. Skeptical of the rumors abounding regarding the Nazis' extermination of the Jewish race, Genady opts to remain at the family home. Meanwhile, Genady's longtime neighbor Lena Onofrienko (Katrin Sass) decides that assisting the invading army may be in her best interests, in spite of her friendship with the Lerners. Soon, both families are caught up in what became one of the largest Nazi atrocities of World War II, in which 35,000 Ukrainian Jews were slaughtered and incinerated over a period of two days in the nearby ravine called Babij Jar.
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