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Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Suess (2008)

Harlan - Im Schatten von Jud Süß (original title)
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Though almost forgotten today, Veit Harlan was one of Nazi Germany's most notorious filmmakers. His most perfidious film was the treacherous anti-Semitic propaganda film Jud Süß ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
August Zirner ...
Narrator (voice)
Alice Harlan ...
Lotte Harlan ...
Nele Harlan ...
Lena Harlan ...
Kristian Harlan ...
Caspar Harlan ...
Maria Körber ...
Himself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Susanne Körber-Harlan ...
Herself (archive footage)


Though almost forgotten today, Veit Harlan was one of Nazi Germany's most notorious filmmakers. His most perfidious film was the treacherous anti-Semitic propaganda film Jud Süß (1940) - required viewing for all SS members. An unrepentant and blindly obsessive craftsman, no figure - save for Leni Riefenstahl - is as closely associated with the cinema of the Holocaust years. (Harlan's epic Kolberg (1945) was the basis for Inglourious Basterds (2009)'s pivotal film-within-a-film Stolz Der Nation.) This documentary is an eye-opening examination of World War II film history as well as the story of a German family from the Third Reich to the present; one that is marked by reckoning, denial and liberation. Written by Zeitgeist Films and Jeffrey Prawdiuk-Spurr

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Release Date:

23 April 2009 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Suess  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,258 (USA) (7 March 2010)


$52,450 (USA) (13 June 2010)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Light and darkness
28 December 2010 | by See all my reviews

And of course the shadow. The thing is, that there is not that much light into the matter. All relatives of the director of the infamous "Jud Süß", the propaganda film of the Nazi Regime, talk here. And they have different opinions on the movie and their father (or grandfather in some cases).

The question if he knew what was going on will not be entirely solved though. If that is what you are looking for you will be disappointed. In general, there is not that much information you will gain from this documentary. It will tell you how some people felt about the movie, what happened in some years, but I am missing the depth. What I did like, was the fact, that there still is some controversy amongst the siblings (some even defending the choice of Harlan, when he made the movie).

It is difficult for a filmmaker and it must have been even more difficult. It's just a shame there was never a complete reveal of what happened. Was it the Regime that made him do it or did he believe what he was filming too? If the latter is true, than he was a criminal too. It seems we will never know for sure. I hope that they will make a documentary about the dilemma of directors though that shines a light on this subject once more

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