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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

"What would it be like to grow up as the son of a mass murderer?" That's the dilemma for the sons of two high-ranking Nazi officers in David Evans's sobering but absorbing documentary. Niklas Frank and Horst von Wächter, both born in 1939, had little experience of their fathers' actions during the war - Hans Frank was Hitler's lawyer, who was indicted for war crimes at Nuremberg; Otto von Wächter was governor of Galicia (now part of Ukraine), who escaped punishment. Brought together by human rights lawyer Philippe Sands, the aged pair's opposing views of their fathers define the narrative: Niklas loathes his dad whereas Horst visibly struggles to accept the man he loved was willingly responsible for anything to do with the Final Solution. Horst's agonising struggle to admit that responsibility is palpable, as shown when a testy audience interrogates the pair at a public talk in London. However, during a visit to the Ukraine - in the throes of a nationalist conflict with Russia - Sands takes the men to a mass grave where his own personal anguish is revealed (a powerful moment). It's here, however, that the narrative is knocked off its trajectory and loses momentum. Nevertheless, it remains a valuable examination of personal responsibility v familial loyalty set against events that should never be taken for granted.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Niklas FrankNiklas Frank
Philippe SandsPhilippe Sands
Horst von WächterHorst von Wächter

Crew

rolename
DirectorDavid Evans (4)

Details

Theatrical distributor
Altitude
Released on
2015-11-20
Languages
English
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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