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The Flat (2011)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 14 June 2012 (Germany)
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2:32 | Trailer
As a documentarian cleans out the flat that belonged to his grandparents - both immigrants from Nazi Germany - he uncovers clues pointing to a complicated and shocking story.

Director:

Arnon Goldfinger

Writer:

Arnon Goldfinger (concept)
8 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michael Adler Michael Adler ... Himself
Yaron Amit Yaron Amit ... Himself
Avrham Barkai Avrham Barkai ... Herself (as Dr. Avrham Barkai)
Meital Beili Meital Beili ... Herself
Rani Eisenberg Rani Eisenberg ... Himself
Arnon Goldfinger ... Himself
Gidi Goldfinger Gidi Goldfinger ... Himself
Hannah Goldfinger Hannah Goldfinger ... Herself
Noam Goldfinger Noam Goldfinger ... Himself
Yair Goldfinger Yair Goldfinger ... Himself
Orit Goldfinger-Mendel Orit Goldfinger-Mendel ... Herself
Heinz Hohne Heinz Hohne ... Himself
Erika Jocker Erika Jocker ... Herself
Guido Jocker Guido Jocker ... Himself
Gertrude Kino Gertrude Kino ... Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

When Arnon Goldfinger's grandmother dies in Tel Aviv, his whole family come around for the necessary disposition of her property. While dealing with all the stuff, Arnon makes a shocking discovery: evidence that his German Jewish grandparents had a long-lasting friendship with the senior Nazi SS officer, Leopold von Mildenstein, before and after World War II. His repulsion and confusion at how his beloved grandparents could have done that sends Arnon on an international search for the truth. In doing so, Arnon learns about a complex relationship, in which family, sentiment, history and human nature combine to produce a kind of denial in reaction to the worst of reality. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When you start looking at the past you never know what you'll find...

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

Israel | Germany

Language:

Hebrew | German | English

Release Date:

14 June 2012 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A lakás See more »

Filming Locations:

Tel Aviv, Israel See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$19,916, 21 October 2012

Gross USA:

$471,842

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$583,443
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Arnon Goldfinger: When my grandmother died, I realized that my family lives only in the present, so I take home anything that smells 100 years old or older. For the first time in my life, I have a past.
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User Reviews

 
When you start digging, you don't know what you'll uncover
30 July 2013 | by Red-125See all my reviews

The Flat (2011) is an Israeli movie, written and directed by Arnon Goldfinger. It's an unusual film, because I believe that the filmmaker truly didn't know how the movie would end when he started filming.

Arnon Goldfinger's grandmother died in Tel Aviv at age 98. He and his family had the task of cleaning out the apartment in which his grandparents had lived since the 1930's. The family members were shocked to learn of their grandparents' close friendship with a German family, the von Mildersteins. This friendship had begun before WW II, but had endured the war, and had been re-established after the war.

Goldfinger pursues the question of how his Jewish grandparents could have stayed in such close touch with a Nazi couple. Why did they do this? The director tracks down the daughter of the von Mildersteins, who welcomes them to her home in Germany. The daughter was well aware of the friendship, and apparently the friendship didn't strike her as strange.

The director then digs deeper into the facts related to von Milderstein. Was he "just a journalist," as his daughter believes, or was he much more? (The facts about von Milderstein are now available in the archives from the former East Germany.)

We can only speculate about the explanation for how the friendship could continue for so long. This is especially puzzling, because Goldfinger's maternal great-grandmother (his grandmother's mother) had been killed by the Nazis.

Goldfinger interviews an expert in post-Holocaust Jewry. The expert offers what I thought was a good explanation for the psychology of Jews who retained their ties to Germany and to Germans after the war. That answer is probably the best that the director--or we as viewers--are going to get. It explains behavior that would otherwise be inexplicable.

This is definitely a film you want to seek out if you are interested in post-Holocaust behavior. It's also informative to watch von Milderstein's daughter deal with the new information that Goldfinger has uncovered.

We saw this movie in the Rochester Jewish Community Center as part of the outstanding Rochester Jewish Film Festival. However, it should work very well on DVD. After you see it, you'll keep thinking about it. I recommend it.


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