An interesting concept is frittered away in a rather lifeless documentary in which young Israelis explain why want to move to Germany and Austria despite the persecution of Jews in those countries during the Nazi era. Their desires, contrasting sharply with elders who survived the horrors, are expressed in low-key conversations.
The problem of the film, directed and produced by Kat Rohrer and Gil Levanon, is that the young people are not especially interesting and the filmmakers don’t do enough to make them more so. The discussions have an academic quality rather than emotional depth, although special interest arises from some of the misgivings cited about life in Israel with respect to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The directors, who became friends while college students in New York a decade ago, approach the subject from personal as well as historical angles. Rohrer is from Austria, Levanon is from Israel. Rohrer’s grandfather was a Nazi officer. Levanon is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor.
They thus have an interest in pursuing reasons why some Israelis want to emigrate to the crime scenes under new post-Holocaust environments. They also are aware of why survivors would look askance at a new generation finding appeal in moving to Germany and Austria.
The co-directors focus on three families involved in the issue, and the interviews included are intelligent in the reasoning and reactions. Unfortunately the overall effect of the film is on the bland side and it is tough to get excited over the younger generation mulling over the direction to take in their privileged lives. A First Run Features release. Reviewed June 14, 2019.