There seems to be a theme emerging in international cinema in recent years. While Holocaust films have been produced in abundance not only in America but throughout Europe since 1960, many countries are beginning to shed light on shameful chapters in their treatment of Jews.
“Ida,” which I introduced at BIFF, looked at the legacy of post-Holocaust, Communist Poland and the continued decimation of Jewish life.
“In the Shadows,” the film that sold out our festival on Monday night, is film noir thriller about the show trils of Jews in post-Holocaust Communist Czechoslovakia.
And “Aftermath,” which we will present in the Dairy’s Performance Hall Wednesday night at 7 pm, (tickets available!) is about two brothers in contemporary Poland who stumble on the painful truth of their town’s Holocaust past.
This suspenseful drama, which wowed me when I saw it at the Jerusalem Film Festival in July – where it won the Yad Vashem Chairman’s Award – is stunning. I find it remarkable that this harrowing and damning film, like “Ida,” was made by a non-Jewish Polish director.
This fact-based story was actually banned in some cinemas in Poland. In theme it resembles Germany’s 1990 groundbreaking and fact-based “The Nasty Girl,” but its style is far more explosive.
Based on “Neighbors,” published to acclaim and controversy by Polish-American historian Jan Gross, the film took seven years to acquire funding and ignited huge controversy in Poland, where is was widely denounced, and Poland’s largest weekly ran a cover with the lead actor’s image framed in a Jewish star.
The screening will be followed by a talkback by Professor Paul Shankman.
For tickets, click here.