Film Review: NEVER AGAIN IS NOW (USA 2019) ***1/2

Never Again Is Now Poster

Evelyn Markus is a psychologist.  She is not a filmmaker by profession.  But Evelyn has a story to tell.  This documentary is her story of doing her part to prevent NEVER AGAIN being now.

Markus is a Jew born and raised in the Netherlands where her family history goes back more than 400 years.  She grew up in the 60s and 70s in the world’s most liberal city, Amsterdam, virtually without any antisemitism where she enjoyed life with her long-time partner, Rosa.  But that all suddenly changed in 2000 when a pink Star of David was graffitied on her front door.  With calls for “Jews to the gas!” shouted in soccer stadiums and shocking and violent attacks in the streets…as a child of Holocaust survivors, her world was taken apart.

Markus found a letter detailing her mother’s Holocaust experience.  When approached by producers who were planning to make a documentary about antisemitism in Europe, she decided to take action.  Markus’ personal story therefore packs quite the punch.  

NEVER AGAIN IS NOW succeeds in two main ways.  The first is educating the audience on antisemitism.  Most of the world are aware of the hatred towards Jews during the holocaust of WWII.  But some are unaware of the widespread and deepful hatred still going on today.  Incidents like the Charlie Hebro killings in France and the synagogue killing the U.S. illustrate the point.  The second is how the hate is manifested and spread.  The film emphasizes the need for governments to do more to prevent hate crimes.

The doc reveals the difference between religious tolerance between the U.S. and Europe something that myself and many would not be that aware of.  Markus praises American as the Land of the Free compared than intolerant Europe where incidents like the holocaust, in WWII, and other terrors attacks have occurred.  The film also points out that American is not immune to the attacks.  The film blames not only the right but also the left which has increasing become a problem.  The film contains disturbing scenes of hate speeches delivered by many an Islamic Imam in the name of faith.

Those interviewed in the film include globally renowned experts, Parliamentarians, religious leaders, authors, activists, playwrights and political commentators including Ben Shapiro, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and devout Muslim physician Qanta Ahmed.

While many films and docs display the good of mankind, this one shows the amount of hate and evil present in man particularly the religious leaders of Islam.

The one important message that Markus’s movie wishes to make is: “Silence in the face of evil is evil itself.”  The entire films serves to prove and verify the fact.  To remain silent should not be an option.  The time to speak up is now.  Though a bit over preachy, NEVER AGAIN IS NOW gets the message across loud and clear.

The doc also details the three different groups of people that should speak out.  One is the oppressed Jew.  Markus initially left the Netherlands when persecuted but now speaks out.  She speaks out in the form of making this documentary.  The other is the Muslim who speak out against the hated Islamic persecutors of antisemitism hate, spoiling the name of Islam.  The third is everyone else who should do what is right.  The film lists the website where one can speak out.

The film ends appropriately with an epilogue describing the anti-semitism in the U.S.  Back in 1940 human beings could have stopped the evil threat but they didn’t. Now this evil has to be stopped, while human beings still have the chance.  


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