The new series Hunters has come under criticism for its depiction of life in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The show, which premiered last Friday on Amazon Prime, shows a graphic game of human chess where a Jewish chess master is forced to play on a giant board with his fellow prisoners representing the pieces. On Twitter, the Auschwitz Memorial called it "dangerous foolishness and caricature."
Auschwitz was full of horrible pain & suffering documented in the accounts of survivors. Inventing a fake game of human chess for @huntersonprime is not only dangerous foolishness & caricature. It also welcomes future deniers. We honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy. pic.twitter.com/UM2KYmA4cw— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) February 23, 2020
According to Variety, creator David Weil issued a statement in response to the criticism, which opened with a story about his visit to Auschwitz as a child that he called "an experience that forever altered the course of my life." However, he stressed that Hunters "it is not documentary. And it was never purported to be."
"Why did I feel this scene was important to script and place in series? To most powerfully counteract the revisionist narrative that whitewashes Nazi perpetration, by showcasing the most extreme -- and representationally truthful -- sadism and violence that the Nazis perpetrated against the Jews and other victims," the statement read, in part.
"And why did I feel the need to create a fictional event when there were so many real horrors that existed? After all, it is true that Nazis perpetrated widespread and extreme acts of sadism and torture -- and even incidents of cruel “games” – against their victims. I simply did not want to depict those specific, real acts of trauma."
Hunters is set largely in 1977 New York City and follows a ragtag group that attempt to thwart the Nazis from creating a Fourth Reich inside the U.S. government. It also stays true to its era by leaning heavily into grindhouse sensibilities to tell its violent tale -- including its flashbacks set during the days of Nazi occupation.0comments
Weil has also penned four of the first season's scripts and serves as executive producer alongside Tom Lesinski, Jenna Santoianni, Win Rosenfeld and Us director Jordan Peele.
Amazon Prime just recently announced that it's police procedural, Bosch, would conclude after its upcoming seventh season. Last month, it also released the cast list for its mega-ambitious Lord of the Rings adaptation, which the studio hopes will help fill that Game of Thrones-sized hole in the TV landscape.