A film festival can be seen as the artistic expression of a culture, a way of celebrating achievements or articulating difficult past events. Running from 30 April to 12 May, the Jewish International Film Festival’s Holocaust Film Series presents 30 fascinating new films for anyone interested in history, culture and good filmmaking.
Here is The Plus Ones’ selection of the three must-see films from the festival:
- What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy – Director David Evans’ documentary examines the lives of two men whose fathers were Nazi officers in the war, directly responsible for the atrocities committed in the Holocaust. Based on an article by Philippe Sands, What Our Fathers Did looks at how we deal with our families legacies—do we condemn or forgive?
- Remember – This is the latest outing from seasoned Canadian director Atom Egoyan (Chloe, The Sweet Hereafter). Christopher Plummer plays Zev Guttman, a man prompted by his friend to escape his retirement facility in pursuit of the ex-Nazi Officer responsible for the torture and deaths of his entire family at Auschwitz. Egoyan’s film is a gripping mystery with a dedicated performance from Plummer.
- The Cabaret of Death – A blend of documentary and re-creation, director Andrzej Celinski demonstrates how Jewish artists survived in the concentration camps through their humour, music and theatre. In a series of reconstructed episodes, this documentary shows how the art and entertainment are a necessary part of our survival.
In addition to the films, the Holocaust Film Series will also include Q&As with some of the filmmakers, an artwork exhibition and a panel discussion. This film series is sure to be a cultural highlight of 2016.
Tom Bensley is a freelance writer in Melbourne who reviews anything he attends, watches or reads. It’s a compulsion, really. Follow him @TomAliceBensley.
The Holocaust Film Series runs from 30 April to 12 May at the Event Cinemas in Bondi (NSW), the Lido in Hawthorn and the Classic Cinemas in Elsternwick (VIC). All of these venues are wheelchair accessible. Non-English Language Films include English subtitles.