At age 98, director Arnon Goldfinger’s grandmother passed away, leaving him the task of clearing out the Tel Aviv flat that she and her husband shared for decades since immigrating from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sifting through a dense mountain of photos, letters, files, and objects, Goldfinger documents himself undertaking the arduous process of making sense of a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions. In the process, he begins to uncover clues that seem to point to a greater mystery, and soon a complicated and shocking family history unfolds before his camera.
What starts to take shape is the troubled and taboo history of Goldfinger’s grandparents’ lives in Germany in the tumultuous and difficult years before World War II, and the unexpected yet inevitable ethical ambiguities and repressed emotions that arise when everyday friendships suddenly cross enemy lines. In this emotionally riveting documentary, Goldfinger follows the hints his grandparents left behind to investigate long-buried family secrets and unravel the mystery of their painful past. –Cara Cusumano
The most striking thing is how disarming it is. Starts out as a pretty cutesy nostalgia trip, and then it starts to give way, slowly, along with how one views the family. I also find it interesting how it exposes some gray areas, yet doesn't exactly solve them, despite Arnon's heartfelt efforts to do so.