Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"The Flat": Unearthing the Past from Its Darkest Corners 

Wednesday, Oct 31 2012

It begins as an ordinary, if bittersweet, family event. The 98-year-old grandmother of Israeli filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger has died, and as this superb documentary opens, Goldfinger and his mother begin packing up her apartment. German Jews from Berlin, the Goldfingers immigrated to Palestine in 1937, and stayed in the new state of Israel for half a century. Letters and photos tucked in a cabinet reveal the bewildering news that in the early 1930s, the Goldfingers made their first trip to Palestine alongside a Nazi named Leopold von Mildenstein and his wife. Weirder still, a deep friendship grew between the two couples, one that was put on hold during the war but resumed immediately after, and for years to come. A trip to Germany reveals the depths of Mildenstein's complicity in the Holocaust and raises questions about truth and memory so provocative that moviegoers are likely to stand in the lobby debating them. When Arnon meets Mildenstein's surviving daughter, it's clear she knows nothing of her father's war crimes. Or does she? In families, this fascinating film suggests, acknowledging or denying the darker truths of one's legacy is a choice that must be made again and again, each and every day. (C.W.)

About The Author

Chuck Wilson


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"