Harlan - In the Shadow of Jew Suss (DVD)
Directed by Felix Moeller
“FASCINATING AND TROUBLING. [Harlan did] in fiction what Leni Riefenstahl did in documentary—to exalt an overwhelming mob united in thrall to its leader—and also to have celebrated an ecstatic cult of death.”
—Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Though almost forgotten today, Veit Harlan was one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious filmmakers. Millions all across occupied Europe saw his films, the most infamous of which was the horrific anti-Semitic propaganda film Jew Süss—required viewing for all SS members. An unrepentant and blindly obsessive craftsman, no figure—save for Leni Riefenstahl—is as closely associated with the cinema of the Holocaust years as Joseph Goebbels’ top director (Quentin Tarantino used Harlan’s 1945 epic Kolberg as the basis for Inglourious Basterds’ pivotal film-within-a-film Stolz der Nation.) Veit Harlan was the only Nazi-era artist to be charged with war crimes.
With never-before-seen archival footage, unearthed film excerpts and new interviews, Harlan is an eye-opening examination of World War II film history. But it also examines how Harlan’s descendants—especially the youngest generation—struggle with the dark myth of his artistic immorality. It’s the searing story of a German family from the Third Reich to the present, one that is marked by reckoning, denial and liberation.
DVD Extras Include:
- 16:9 anamorphic transfer, created from HD elements and enhanced for widescreen TVs
- Q&A with Veit Harlan’s granddaughter, journalist and critic Jessica Jacoby
- Interview with acclaimed German writer and filmmaker Alexander Kluge (co-director of Germany in Autumn) about Harlan’s film career
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