The Liberator

A Short Film by Patrick Fritz

About The Film

The Story

A gay Holocaust researcher struggles to convince his boyfriend’s grandfather, a Dachau liberator, to reveal his untold story of pink triangle survivors.


A Holocaust researcher, EMMETT, invites his boyfriend ROB to meet MARCEL, a gay, pink triangle survivor. Except the meeting is like no other: Marcel is an interactive museum piece, capable of answering thousands of questions much like Siri or Alexa.

With a thirst to learn more about gay survivors’ liberation, Emmett convinces Rob to visit SAM, Rob’s grandfather who liberated the Dachau concentration camp. But their meeting begins with disaster. Sam is unable to talk, when his trauma resurfaces.

As Emmett and Rob prepare to leave, a box of artifacts turns up, revealing poignant, indescribable photos of Holocaust victims. The discovery leads to a more chilling artifact: a tattered pink triangle. Before Sam can say no, Emmett opens Marcel’s testimony on his iPad, believing that if Sam asks Marcel questions, he might decide to talk.

Marcel’s account intrigues Sam, who wonders if they ever crossed paths. Gathering courage, Sam reveals the tragic tale of three pink triangle survivors he encountered at the camp. For Sam, it represents an attempt to heal from the trauma he’s long carried with him. For Emmett, Sam’s admission is a potential windfall of research; a victory made stronger when Sam signals he’s ready to tell his story.

Meet The Team!

  • Meet The Cast
    Ryan Jamaal Swain | Dr. Emmett Fields Ryan Jamaal Swain was born in Birmingham, Alabama and spent much of his childhood training at local theatre and dance companies. As a writer, in 2014, Swain wrote and starred in A Negro Writer, a one-man showContinue reading “Meet The Cast”
  • Meet The Crew
    Patrick Fritz | Writer & Director Patrick is a writer, director, and production designer. He has completed ten projects with Disney Digital Network and his LGBTQ+ short film, Elijah, has screened at UTA, WME, and many film festivals. His directorial body of work includesContinue reading “Meet The Crew”

Production Specs

Runtime: 17 min, 43 seconds | Aspect Ratio: 1.85 to 1 | Shooting Format & Camera: Red Dragon 6K – 8K

Filmed At: University of Southern California & Altadena, California | Shot During Covid-19, with SAG-Approved Safety Protocols

Special Effects Aging Makeup used for Gordon Thomson and Michael Schwartz

View production stills, screen grabs, and more below!