TrustMovies is beginning to think it's inevitable: the more Holocaust documentaries that appear, the better and more interesting they seem to become. This subject -- of the Nazi intent to destroy the world's Jewish population and its aftermath (it's that aftermath that has produced some of the finest of these docs) -- appears to be inexhaustible. Just when you think you've encountered the strangest of these true tales (take The Flat, for instance: see it, if you haven't yet; it's available to stream via the usual suspects), along comes another that surprises and seduces. Such a film is this week's opener, FAREWELL, HERR SCHWARZ.
Yael Reuveny (shown at left, who also appears throughout the documentary), the film tells of her family's experience during and after the Holocaust (mostly after) and spans three generations, beginning with her grandmother, Michla (shown below, pre-Holocaust, in the front row, second from left), who survived it, along with the grandmother's brother, Feiv'ke shown below, front row, at left), who did, too. In fact, early on the movie explains how Feiv'ke was a man who "died twice." If only it were that easy. Feiv'ke's story, which includes a kind of "identity" change that involves both name and history becomes one of those mysteries about us humans' ability to do some very odd things, while leaving all trace of reason or motive buried. And so Ms Reuveny's documentary becomes a search for answers, some of which are forthcoming while others remain shrouded.
Madeleine Albright could learn something). All in all, this small movie about one family and its continuing experience with the Holocaust is a quietly provocative experience.
Kino Lorber and running 96 minutes -- opens this Friday, January 9, for a one-week run at New York City's Quad Cinema and on Saturday, January 10, for a two-day run at Manhattan's JCC on Manhattan's upper west side.