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Ben Foster to play Harry Haft in Barry Levinson's boxing/Holocaust drama

Ben Foster

Story by Jack Foley

BEN Foster is to play real-life boxer Harry Haft in a new film of the same name.

To be directed by Barry Levinson, the film is based on a Black List script by Justine Juel Gillmer that, in turn, is based on the Alan Scott Haft novel Harry Haft: Survivor of Auschwitz, Challenger of Rocky Marciano.

The film will chronicle the true story of Haft, a boxer who survived Auschwitz by being forced to fight fellow prisoners in the concentration camps in hideous gladiatorial battles.

If he won, he was fed and allowed to live long enough for the next fight, while the 76 opponents he beat were led to their deaths in the camps.

Haunted by these memories and guilt over the price of survival, Haft subsequently attempted to use high-profile fights against boxing legends such as Rocky Marciano as a way to rediscover a reason to live.

He also attempts to find the woman he fell in love with before the war, who also remained one of his biggest reasons to survive the Nazis.

According to Deadline, Harry Haft represents a labour of love for everyone involved in the film, several of whom had relatives who perished in concentration camps or who survived the Holocaust.

Foster most recently starred in the critically-acclaimed drama Leave No Trace and his recent work includes Hell or High Water, The Program, The Messenger and Lone Survivor.

Levinson, whose big screen credits include Rain Man, Sleepers and Good Morning Vietnam, most recently directed Al Pacino in Paterno and Robert De Niro in Wizard of Lies, both for HBO.