The Flat


2012 | 97 minutes | Rated NR

Sorting through the personal effects of a recently deceased parent or grandparent can be difficult enough. Sorting through these personal effects to discover that his German-émigré Zionist grandparents maintained a close friendship with a high-ranking SS officer—even after the Holocaust—sets Israeli filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger off on an intriguing exploration of two family histories, and these families’ concerted efforts to deny it. The strange relationship between Goldfinger’s grandparents, Kurt and Gerda Tuchler, and Leopold von Mildenstein—a longtime Nazi propaganda minister and the man Adolf Eichmann credited with giving him his “big break”—is only half of the mystery The Flat explores. Goldfinger’s grandparents never talked much about Germany or the war, and his mother, Hannah, never bothered to ask, a feigned disinterest shared by the Mildenstein’s amiable daughter Edda, who insists her father’s Nazi past ended long before the atrocities began. It didn’t. It is this collective second-generation amnesia, and Goldfinger’s personal struggle to understand it, that drives this fascinating and moving documentary, lifting it above the mere horrors of its historical subject matter. (In English, Hebrew, and German, with English subtitles.) (GOLDY)

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Film Credits
Arnon Goldfinger
Axel Milberg