Saw this film yesterday at the Tribeca Film Festival. I recommend it highly. It's a superb documentary created by the extremely talented filmmaker, Rosa Von Praunheim.
The story involves Von Praunheim's search for his birth mother. He was born in Latvia and adopted by German parents during the war. It wasn't until he was over 50 that he learned that he was adopted. After his mother's death he decides to locate his real parents. The documentary follows the filmmaker as he journeys to Riga, Latvia, where he attempts to develop leads as to who his mother was. His search builds in intensity, like a detective thriller. Along the way, he also examines life in occupied Latvia, focusing mainly on the horrors of the Holocaust, including the murder of 97% of the entire Jewish population there.
By incredible chance, an archivist finds a reference to a child that's given up by a German woman in Latvia who turns out to be his birth mother. Eventually the director tracks down his aunt in Germany and other new found relatives. Finally, he discovers the true fate of his birth mother who had a mental breakdown after the war. The fate of his father remains unknown but a few possible suspects are discussed including two notorious SS commanders, responsible for horrible acts during the German occupation.
Von Praunheim answered questions after the showing at the Festival; he believes it's his mission to influence the younger generation to study what happened during the Holocaust as he feels they don't realize that such horrors can (and are) happening again. This is a must-see documentary--it's riveting and fascinating. 10 Stars all the way!
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