Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Felix Moeller's HARLAN: In the Shadow of Jew Süss opens at Film Forum
Viet Harlan (1899-1964) was a German filmmaker/
actor most promi-
nent during the the time of the Third Reich. I wager that a good portion of film buffs, TrustMovies included, will not have heard of Herr Harlan prior to viewing the docu-
mentary by Felix Moeller (shown below) entitled HARLAN: In the shadow of Jew Süss. First seen at a documentary festival in Germany in the fall of 2008, the film was then given a German theatrical release a year ago.
Zeitgeist Films, which is opening it this Wednesday at New York City's Film Forum for a two-week run. The weird thing is, now that I have seen this documentary, I rather wonder why. I do not mean that this film about Harlan, his "work" and his family is uninteresting (it's hard to recall anything Holocaust-related that does not possess a modicum of fascination). And the fact that Harlan's oeuvre, as we learn here, included perhaps the most infamous of the anti-semetic diatribes of German Nazi-era cinema -- the 1940 narrative film Jew Süss -- would seem to make this guy a shoo-in for the spotlight.
Douglas Sirk's garment.
Margarethe von Trotta (whose films include Marianne and Juliane and Rosa Luxemburg), expected to learn from this family -- most of whom, with a couple of exceptions, draw into themselves and shut their communicative doors, as families under perceived threat are wont to do. They would prefer that all this would simply go away. For the most part, it has. But something always remains. A few more generations down the road it will all -- or most -- be forgotten, which is, of course, a blessing. And a curse.