In the waning days of 1941, a converted yacht called the Struma carried 769 Romanian Jews fleeing Ion Antonescu's brutal Nazi-supported regime from the Black Sea coastal town of Constanta to British-controlled Palestine. After only a couple days out to sea, the ship developed engine trouble and was forced to harbor in Istanbul's harbor. For two months a complicated political and diplomatic struggle ensued between Germany, Turkey, Britain, the Soviet Union. Eventually, the harried passengers where herded on board and towed into the Black Sea. A day later, it was torpedoed and all but one passenger died. Documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, whose grandparents were among those killed on the ship, recounts the doomed journey of the Struma and its mysterious end. He follows British diver Greg Buxton's attempts at fining the wreck and interviews Turkish officials about the matter, delves into mid-century geopolitics, and explores the German-Turkish chromium trade during the 1940s. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.
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