Cleaning out a deceased family member’s apartment may turn up some unsettling finds.
But when Israeli filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger started going through his late grandparents’ apartment following the death of his 98-year-old grandmother, Gerda Tuchler, neither he nor his family was prepared for what they discovered: boxes full of Nazi propaganda and a newspaper clipping revealing that Arnon’s grandparents once traveled to Palestine from Germany with Leopold von Mildenstein, a prominent Nazi official. And if learning of this friendship wasn’t enough of a shock, they soon learned that Gerda kept up with Mildenstein even after World War II.
In Arnon Goldfinger’s award-winning documentary, The Flat [trailer here], the filmmaker tries to understand why his grandmother maintained her friendship with a Nazi. Goldfinger and his mother travel together to Germany, where they meet with Mildenstein’s daughter and attempt to make sense of what they know, and what they learn. The Flat won Israel’s award for best documentary in 2011, and it’s easy to see why.
The film is now in limited release across the country, and will hopefully make its way to a city near you. (And if not, there’s always Netflix.)