TrustMovies, who often says "Never again!," after viewing one... more... film about the Jewish Holocaust, urges you nonetheless to see the Israel/German co-production LOSS, which is one of the better -- and more unusual -- movies to tackle this subject that he has viewed in a long while. Made in 2002 and only now being shown here, it runs just 30 minutes. But what minutes they are! Israeli filmmaker Nurith Aviv has several of her German friends (as well as Hannah Arendt), simply speak to the camera about what, in their minds, has been lost due to the German treatment of the Jews before and during the Holocaust -- and most tellingly, of the effect on German life and attitudes after World War II.
RABBIT A LA BERLIN (directed by Bartek Konopka, photographed by Piotr Rosolowski and co-written by both men) could have been nearly as effective at half its length, as it tells the tale of what happens to some generations of rabbits, the first of which were caught literally overnight in the area between the Berlin Wall(s). (Some of us may have imagined that the wall was simply a one-piece blockade, but evidently it was built with a good deal of space, grassy and otherwise, between its provocative sections.) What happens to these bunnies is funny, sad, a little grotesque and finally a fable-like metaphor for society at large -- and not just Germany, East and/or West.
Watership Down if you've gone rusty on rabbits), some begin to burrow out of their safe haven. Why? Hmmm.... This brings up all kind of ideas about safety, evolution, challenge and growth. We even witness a kind of rabbit Holocaust -- which makes these two films oddly well-matched co-features.
Rabbit à la Berlin keeps threatening profundity but, really, it remains more of a witty and quite enjoyable fable about post-war Germany and the rise of the rabbit -- and an interesting bit of history regarding change and endurance in the "natural" world.
Both films begin their two-week run at Film Forum this Wednesday, December 8. You can find the schedule of performances here.