I had zero prejudice, except the usual distaste for Hitler era cutesy stories. But I was not expecting the reaction I had either - I know plenty about that time and few revelations, few viewpoints surprise me anymore. Despite some gray areas I noticed, which gave birth to 2-3 questions in my mind during the film, which were skipped over by the filmmakers or maybe lost in the cutting room, Surviving Hitler is a very tightly knit film, poignantly told, and entirely devoid of hatred, glorification, guilt or vindictiveness so often expressed by the contemporary filmmakers, who take on this subject matter or even Holocaust era survivors, of either side. It is also, thank God, not preachy, it's just as an objective documentary should be - objective. It is a very well told story of one uncommon family's uncommon survival of unique circumstances in Hitler's Berlin. Jutta, whose story and archival footage this is, has the matter-of-fact recollection of those tragic times, has told the story many times before, and makes none of the on-camera dramatic pretenses. She is as fascinating to watch as her unique story is to learn and I cried in the end knowing all ends well, after all. I think that very few people of her background have recorded their stories for posterity, and I can only wonder why Jutta has waited this long. But I am glad that it's told now, while she is still living. The period footage from DC archives used in the film is excellent and supports and even carries Jutta's story in many places. The re-enactments, as well executed as they were, I would have preferred to do away with, but they did not diminish the overall impact the film had on me. I hope Surviving Hitler wins an award or two or three - it is very deserving.
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