Sombre French/Israeli co-production about a Nazi hiding out in Israel.
Sombre French/Israeli co-production about a Nazi commandant Hans Wernert (Karl Boehm, best known for his lead role in Peeping Tom) who ran a wartime counterfeiting unit in a concentration camp and subsequently lives under the false identity of one of his victims Jonathan Strauss in Israel. However, the truth of his early remark to his unsuspecting pregnant wife Dahlia (Corrine Marchand) that "the past always returns" seems increasingly likely to be borne out when American sociologist Fred Blythe (Brett Halsey) begins digging up the truth as part of his oral history of the holocaust seen through the eyes of the survivors. Seemingly unseen in the West, this film must have seemed timely and relevant in 1964 as it explicitly references the then recent capture, trial and subsequent hanging in Israel of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann whilst musing (often at some length) on philosophical issues concerning the nature of good and evil that are still relevant today. Necessarily downbeat, but decently made and played and never less than dramatically engaging as the viewer is uncertain until the end how it will all play out, the most puzzling issue for many (or those that see it) will be the fact that it appears to have received scant - if any - release in English speaking countries (my DVD is a French language version that features an English subtitled option courtesy of a French DVD release by Les Documents Cinematographiques Collection Classique). Worth a look, then, if you get the chance.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?