Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, June 10: GERMANS & JEWS
Tal Recanati and Janina Quint’s consideration of the complex relationship between the two titular groups makes its debut today at the Greenwich film fest before opening in NYC’s Cinema Village.
Taking on a thought-provoking topic, Recanati (American, Jewish) and Quint (German, non-Jewish) host a dinner party for Jewish Germans, non-Jewish Germans, and non-German Jews living in Germany to reflect on the two people’s shared history and their ongoing modern reconciliation as the population of Jews in Germany continues to rise. Taking as a point of contrast the ways that the East and West approached the legacy of the Nazi era, the film offers viewers a concise history of how, when, and why a reckoning with the past came, and the impact this had on their respective populaces. Moving beyond the topic of Vergangenheitsbewältigung, other conversations explore more explicitly present-day concerns, including fears of the growth of anti-Semitism as the nation’s Muslim population grows, and the challenges of being de facto perceived as anti-Semitic if one criticizes Israel. While the topic lends itself to these and other engaging ideas, the conventional filmmaking approach taken, with an excess of talking heads, makes it more appropriate for the small screen than theatrical venues.