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272 Ratings

The German Doctor


Directed by Lucía Puenzo
Argentina, France, 2013
Drama, History, Thriller


The true story of an argentine family who lived with Josef Mengele without knowing his true identity, and of a girl who fell in love with one of the biggest criminals of all times.

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The German Doctor Directed by Lucía Puenzo
Some measure of suspense about who this creepy physician might be is all The German Doctor has going for it, since it explores a period of Mengele’s life notable primarily for its uneventfulness. Puenzo has invented a story involving a Patagonian family with whom Mengele becomes entwined, but onscreen, at least, it comes across as little more than a tacky, surprisingly humdrum what-if? scenario.
April 23, 2014
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It’s unsettling to watch this pathologically self-assured sociopath worm his way into the heart of a sensitive girl and her family. The magnificent, sparsely populated settings underscore the family’s vulnerability, particularly in the beginning, when the doctor’s sedan glides behind their truck on an otherwise deserted highway. But the fictional story is too neatly predetermined to feel truly creepy. Much more unnerving is the nonfictional backdrop against which the fictional story unfolds.
April 22, 2014
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Bado is a compelling and at times magnetic presence, and the film misses her whenever she’s offscreen. Her Lilith inhabits her physicality unselfconsciously, and without a trace of preciousness. When she falls from a tree, she thinks nothing of her banged-up knees, as if they don’t really belong to her. And it’s just as well, because under the circumstances they don’t: even at 12 her body has already become someone else’s battleground.
January 07, 2014
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