Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die is a plain and uncompromising documentary on a painful subject: the fate of European Jewry during the Nazi epoch, and the failure of the non-Nazi world to save Hitler's 6 million victims. Parts of the film are purely informational, including looks at the kind of mass Jewish rally that figures in Chaim Potok's novel ''The Chosen,'' which has recently been made into a conventional commercial movie.
Other segments plumb deliberately provocative questions, suggesting that American officials either obstructed or bungled the rescue of European Jews by declining to build refugee havens, bomb the Auschwitz concentration camp, organize anti-Nazi commando raids, and the like. One particularly vivid sequence , for example, records the opening of a token refugee camp in the United States, and contrasts its meager accommodations with the immediate need for a multitude of such facilities. The film, written and directed by Laurence Jarvik, is being distributed by Kino International Films of New York (and in Manhattan will play special noon shows at the Carnegie Hall Cinema each Sunday through the end of May).