Directed by Barry Levinson, ‘The Survivor’ is a moving biographical drama movie that follows Harry Haft, a Jewish boxer who is forced to fight fellow prisoners for survival at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Unable to overcome the trauma afterward, he decides to move to New York and compete against boxing legends to redeem himself. In doing so, Harry hopes to find his first love again.
‘The Survivor’ amazes the audience with its touching narrative — based on the powerful story of Harry Haft — and impactful characters brought alive by the nuanced performances of the cast members. However, what takes the cake is the realistic visual backdrop of Poland and New York, against which the movie is set. Curious to know about all the amazing places it was filmed? Let’s take you through them!
The Survivor Filming Locations
‘The Survivor’ was filmed extensively in various parts of Hungary, mainly in Budapest, Veszprém County, Pest County, and Nógrád County. Major portions were also filmed in New York and Georgia, particularly in areas of New York City, Savannah, and Tybee Island. Principal photography commenced in February 2019 and was seemingly wrapped up on June 8, 2019. During production, the movie was titled ‘Harry Haft.’ Now, here is a closer look at the filming sites.
‘The Survivor’ was primarily filmed in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. The cast and crew taped scenes on Óbuda Island, the largest Danubian island in Budapest. Bisected by the Danube River, the populous global city dates back to approximately AD 41-54. It has been a witness to major historical events such as the Hungarian Revolutions of 1848 and 1956, as well as the Battle of Budapest.
Today, Budapest is an important center of finance, media, art, technology, research, tourism, and education. Moreover, it has many architectural marvels like the Buda Castle, the Hungarian Parliament, Dohány Street Synagogue, and St. Stephen’s Basilica, along with eighty geothermal springs. Several movies such as ‘Dune,’ ‘Midsommar,’ and ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,’ and shows like ‘Moon Knight‘ were filmed in Budapest.
Veszprém County, Hungary
Several significant parts of the movie were lensed in the scenic Veszprém County. Production took place in the village of Úrkút and Balatonfüred, a spa town with 18th and 19th-century villas. Veszprém County is spread over the Bakony Hills and the northern shore of Lake Balaton, with the Marcal river running along part of the western border. The capital city Veszprém is one of the oldest urban areas in the country. Veszprém County is divided into several municipalities, including 14 towns, 2 large villages, and 200 small villages.
Pest County, Hungary
‘The Survivor’ was also shot in Pest County, which surrounds the city of Budapest. The shooting mainly took place in Ócsa, a picturesque town that houses the historical Árpád Age Romanesque church built in the 13th Century by the Premonstratensians and is famous for its architecture and murals. In addition, the surrounding houses and preserved structures are a brilliant exhibit of the Hungarian middle age. Pest County falls in the territory of the Danube River and shares a border with Slovakia.
Nógrád County, Hungary
Crucial scenes from ‘The Survivor’ were taped in Nógrád County, specifically in Diósjenő, a village that lies in the middle of lush green hills. Bordered by the Ipoly River in the north, Nógrád County is known for its Gothic churches and 13th Century castles. Important places of interest include the Salgó Castle and the Castle of Drégely. The mountainous region comprises many villages located in gorgeous valleys.
New York City, New York
Production for ‘The Survivor’ then moved across the pond to the populous New York City, where pivotal parts were lensed in the Coney Island and Brighton Beach neighborhoods in Brooklyn. To recreate the 1940s, several vintage automobiles and shop hoardings were used to decorate the streets. Over the years, New York City has hosted the filming of several hit TV shows such as ‘WeCrashed,’ ‘Severance,’ ‘Russian Doll,’ and ‘Inventing Anna.’
The bustling metropolis sits on the Hudson River and is made up of the five boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and the Bronx. Furthermore, it is a major hub of entertainment, fashion, politics, tourism, art, and education. Some of its most iconic landmarks are The Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The filming for the movie also took place in Savannah, the capital city of Georgia. It is famous for its antebellum architecture, cobbled streets, and six historic districts studded with well-maintained parks and prominent buildings. The coastal city lies on the Savannah River and is a major Atlantic seaport. Savannah has doubled up as a shooting site for many TV and movie productions like ‘Forrest Gump,’ ‘Ford v Ferrari,’ ‘The Act,’ and ‘The Girl from Plainville.’
Tybee Island, Georgia
‘The Survivor’ was further lensed in Tybee Island, a barrier island and city near Savannah. Dotted with breathtaking beaches, the city has witnessed the filming of several movies like ‘Baywatch,’ ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ ‘The In Between,’ and ‘Gifted.’ In 1958, the U.S. Air Force accidentally dropped an atomic bomb on the area, but luckily, there was no danger involved. The most well-known tourist attractions in Tybee Island are the Tybee Island Light Station, Fort Screven Historic District, and the Tybee Island Pier in South Beach.
Read More: Is The Survivor Based on a True Story?