What does being a Jew mean nowadays? Emanuel Goldfarb, a Jewish journalist, is asked by the Director of a Jewish community in Germany, to respond to an invitation by a professor to tell his pupils about his life as a Jew living in Germany. This conversation, performed by Goldfarb and the Director of the community, is the only scene of Oliver Hirschbiegel's film « Ein ganz gewohnlicher Jude » presented at the Film and Television Festival of Genève, which was shot outdoors and it's the only moment where something apparently happens.
However, this is when the word reigns supreme. Emanuel Goldfarb is alone in his apartment and on his dictaphone he expresses his rage about the feeling of violation in one's private life. He attempts to write a sarcastic letter to the professor after being immersed in the memories of his childhood and talks about how the others see you, the « pity » which is far too often discovered, about the rational and irrational relationship between Jewish traditions. He talks about his family, destroyed by Nazist barbarism and finally decides to write and transform his thoughts in an emotional existential analysis that will lead him to return to the class and meet the professor and his pupils. Masterfully interpreted by Ben Becker, the protagonist offers us a brilliant monologue adapted by Charles Lewinsky's novel a reflexion representing the cultural anchorage of the Jewish religion in Germany thus providing us with some true paths of understanding.
Mariano Morace (Lugano, Switzerland) translated by Rosanna Branch (Lugano, Switzerland)
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