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In 1909, after the Austrian government passed a law known as "the Aryan Paragraph" which forbade sporting clubs from accepting Jewish members, a group of Jewish athletes responded by forming a sports organization of their own. Known as "Hakoah Vienna" (from the Hebrew word for strength), the club sought to give Jewish athletes a place to turn to, and to confront stereotypes that Austrian Jews were intellectual giants but physical weaklings. Hakoah Vienna's members were champions in a number of sports in Austria and Europe (and their soccer team defeated Britain's… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Zilberman's storytelling is a little jumpy, but his documentary is a fitting tribute to seven women whose strength of mind and character, as much as their physical prowess, was developed by the organization that ensured their survival."
‑ Susan Walker, Toronto Star
"What a delightful group they are -- sharp, witty, chic survivors who forged new lives and successful careers in new countries."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Surprisingly complex and moving, Yaron Silberman's vibrantly nostalgic documentary succeeds because it is about more than its surface subjects, young Jewish women who were champion swimmers in the 1930s whose lives were interrupted by the war."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"It is a treat to encounter the fierce, brave, learned women of Watermarks."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
"Not a great movie, but contains fascinating historical material."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"Modest, moving and intelligently assembled."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"Not especially lively filmmaking, but Zilberman has unearthed some terrific footage of the club in its heyday."
‑ Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
"The film's real power comes from the women's personalities."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
"The film's denouement is one of triumphant symbolism as the women return to Vienna for a swim in their former pool. There are no medals given for this reunion, but it's definitely one that deserves a cheer."
‑ Laura Kelly, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Hugely entertaining and wonderfully warm documentary."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"His film, both reverent and affectionate, has at its heart a story that richly deserves the telling."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"A touching film, providing a glimpse into yet another hidden story about the history of European Jews before the arrival of the Nazis."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"That the film is watchable is largely due to the women, any of whom could have been the subject of a better, considerably more focused film."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"One of the most amazing aspects of this film is how many of the octogenarian-plus swimmers have survived after first fleeing post-Anschluss Austria for the four corners of the world."
‑ James Verniere, Boston Herald
"Moving documentary."
‑ , E! Online
More reviews for Watermarks on Rotten Tomatoes