Germany is one of the most democratic societies in the world, and has the fastest growing Jewish community in Europe. This never could have been imagined in 1945. Through personal stories, ...
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Germany is one of the most democratic societies in the world, and has the fastest growing Jewish community in Europe. This never could have been imagined in 1945. Through personal stories, the film explores the country's transformation from silence about the Holocaust to facing it head on.Written by
Germans & Jews (2016) is a documentary directed by Janina Quint. The present-day thinking in Germany about Jews and the Holocaust is a fascinating topic. The magnitude of the Holocaust is so immense that it's still hard for people to comprehend it. The number of Holocaust survivors is dwindling, of course, but their children and grandchildren still struggle to understand the evil. The number of Germans who actively participated in Nazi atrocities is also dwindling. However, in parallel fashion, their children and grandchildren struggle as well.
The film is based on a dinner party given for Christian and Jewish Germans. Although the publicity for the film emphasizes the party, footage from the party only represents a small fraction of what we see on the screen. Mostly, we get learned people, who offer profound insights into Germany then and now. However, a movie can only go so far with "talking heads."
It's fascinating to me that Jews are returning to Germany in substantial numbers. Germany has become a beacon of liberty in a world that's moving to the right. The theme of the film is that Germany has come to grips with the horrors of its past, and is focused on preventing these horrors from happening again. If that's true, we can have hope that other countries--including ours--may ultimately come to grasp with their own set of historical brutalities, and keep them from occurring again.
We saw this film at the excellent Little Theatre, as part of the wonderful Rochester International Jewish Film Festival. This festival is a gem in Rochester's cultural crown, and each year the movies get better. If you can't see this film on the large screen, it will work on the small screen. It's not extraordinary, but it's certainly worth seeing.
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