The film is composed of three separate stories about people searching for their relatives, all of whom have had lives forever changed by the horrors of the World War II. The first story begins with a group of French Holocaust survivors who make a pilgrimage to Auschwitz. On the way, they stop at an old Jewish cemetery, passing by monuments to the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland. Before reaching the site of the Jewish death camp, the bus in which they travel breaks down. In distress, they argue and reminisce about their past; when they interact, the lost world of Eastern European Jewry echoes in their intonations, gestures, and language.
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The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.