The Film, True Story, Follows An Effort To Bring A Nazis Guard To Trial…Jews Keep Telling Their Story To Make Sure It Not Forgotten…So It Won’t Reoccur…Unlike The Rodney King And The Families Of The Charleston 9 Who Forgive and Forget…Even Before The Burial
The film follows Att. Radmann’s attempt to bring to trial a Nazis who worked at various concentration camps.
Jews don’t forgive and forget. Native Americans don’t forgive and forget…in Seattle, Washington…they just had Columbus Day renamed to Indigenous Day. Italians fought against them but they won… refusing to celebrate a man who forged genocide against them.
I don’t think African Americans will be so forgiving if they knew really know their history and come to realize that what’s happening today is what’s been happening to Africans since the era of colonization.
Giulio Ricciarelli, director of ‘Labyrinth of Lies,’ wanted to show the danger in denying the Holocaust. Jews continue to tell their story…PUUR’s mission is to help African Americans learn and tell their story. We can learn much from the Jews and how they handle their holocaust.
In 1958, everything was going well in West Germany. The country was undergoing an “economic miracle.” Demolished cities had largely been rebuilt. Everyone had moved on from World War II.
That was part of the problem.
“There was a sense of possibility and optimism,” says Giulio Ricciarelli, the director and co-writer of the German film “Labyrinth of Lies,” opening locally Friday. “Of course, there was also this huge denial.”
Based on a true story, “Labyrinth of Lies” follows Johann Radmann (Alexander Fehling), a young lawyer in late-’50s West Germany intent on making his mark. When a journalist (Andre Szymanski) storms his office, saying an Auschwitz survivor has spotted one of the concentration camp’s guards working at an elementary school, Radmann is confused. He, like millions of his generation, has never heard of Auschwitz.
The film follows Radmann as he attempts to bring to trial Nazis who worked at various concentration camps — men who were not high-level enough to have been tried at Nuremburg and who have largely merged back into society. To do so, he has to face not only what his country did during the war, but also how it has forgotten it all.
“There’s a tendency in Germany [today] to say, ‘I didn’t do it! I was born in 1970! Why should I feel guilty?’ ” says Ricciarelli, a veteran actor who has appeared in dozens of German TV movies and shows. “I say it’s not about feeling guilty. It’s about accepting responsibility. Denying it — that’s no way to solve it.”
Ricciarelli says that finding a middle ground between denial and an eternal, collective mea culpa is the goal for Germany. At one point in the film, a devastated Radmann declares that all Germans should wear black forever as atonement for the horrors of WW II.
“I’m not of the opinion we should wear black forever,” Ricciarelli says. “The only answer is to do the right thing now, yourself. To me, this is the key to how to go on. You cannot just kill yourself as a country. You have to go on.”
More films opening this weekend at Landmark E Street Cinema.