Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Flat

The Flat, Arnon Goldfinger's documentary about his German-Jewish grandparents, is like an untidy episode of History Detectives. When Mr. Goldfinger's family clears out his grandmother's Tel Aviv apartment following her death, they find an old copy of a Nazi newspaper. The filmmaker uncovers an unlikely friendship between his grandparents & a Nazi official & his wife that was apparently warm & lasted for decades. Mr. Goldfinger, confounded & offended by the relationship, tries to determine what has been unsaid in the family histories. We witness small but charged moments as he delicately questions his mother, journalists, & descendants of both families. It's amusing to see him paying visits with a bouquet of flowers in hand, but there is an accusatory tone to his astonishment at what the older generation doesn't seem to know. I was left with an unsettling feeling. The film takes place in Tel Aviv, Berlin & Wuppertal & is in an earthy stew of Hebrew, German & English.

§ The Flat
director: Arnon Goldfinger
97 min, German, Israel, 2011

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