Three men travel together across Europe. For two of them the journey involves a confrontation with the acts of their fathers, who were both senior Nazi officers. For the third, the eminent human rights lawyer and author Philippe Sands, it means visiting the place where much of his own Jewish family was destroyed by the fathers of the two men he has come to know. It is an emotional, psychological exploration of three men wrestling with their past, the present of Europe - and conflicting versions of the truth.Written by
The film description tells you more than I can. However, I watched this not so much with interest for the 2 men, but for the story of their fathers and the occurrences they showed and the whole family perspective.
The visits to the ghettos by the men as children said a lot to me. I mean, their fathers, dealers of death, took their kids to work. Incredible. They point out in the film the contradiction between these father's work and their ability to go home to their families to lead normal lives. It is inconceivable. All of the Nazis truly convinced themselves that their victims were not human. They had to have to look at everyone, their children victims and then go home to their own children. I cannot really grasp this which is why I watch films like this. I have never really come to an understanding of this and I probably never will.
I did not expect the men to accuse their fathers or to convict them in front of the audience. I am not sure one should expect that. Both men acknowledge to different degrees what their fathers did. Are their fathers actions their actions? Should we expect them to vilify their fathers? I guess acknowledging who and what their fathers were and did is something I expect. Should they be blamed in a sense for their fathers actions if they do or do not blame or accuse their fathers?
I think to a certain degree, people want to blame the children for their fathers crimes against humanity. By asking these men to vilify their fathers, they then would disown the crimes of their fathers....well this is the expectation of the filmmakers. I am not sure it is what should be expected. Their fathers were evil men who performed horrible evils, we all know that. Now if the children believed those actions were justified or if they believed their fathers were good men for those actions, then you could throw them in with their fathers actions.
One man disowns his father and hates him as a father, for the father he was, as much as his Nazi actions in my opinion. He hated his mother too. That is some burden to carry. I think he carries it as a burden, truly.
One man believes his father was a good man stuck in a bad circumstance. I don't believe that, I don't think anyone believes that. Should he vilify his father? He could say his father was kind to him but he knew his father did so much evil....but that didn't come out in the film to me.
Watch this for the story of how human beings can lead 2 lives. Watch it to understand the horrors of the Nazis. Watch it to remember and ensure we don't see the rise of this again. We are seeing the rise....everywhere in the world. Watch this film to see where you stand, to judge your own beliefs. This film forces Introspect in my opinion.
It is not about me, but it forces me to look at these people and my beliefs. I have strong Polish heritage so maybe that pushed my interest in this film too.
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