The Flat

The Flat

Ha-Dirah [romanized Form]

DVD - 2013
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"The flat on the third floor of a Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv was where my grandparents lived since they immigrated to Palestine in the 1930's. Were it not for the view from the windows, one might have thought that the flat was in Berlin. When my grandmother passed away at the age of 98 we were called to the flat to clear out what was left. Objects, pictures, letters and documents awaited us, revealing traces of a troubled and unknown past." -- from the webside.
Publisher: [New York, NY] : IFC Films : MPI Home Video, c2013
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (98 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Edition: Widescreen
Credits: Cinematography, Philippe Bellaiche, Talia (Tulik) Galon ; editor, Tali Halter Shenkar ; music, Yoni Rechter.
Performers: Arnon Goldfinger, Hannah Goldfinger, Edda Milz Von Mildenstein, Gertrude Kino.
Audience: Rating: Not rated
Language Note: In English, Hebrew, and German ; optional subtitles in English and Spanish
English SDH (subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing)
ISBN: 9780788616433
0788616439
UPC: 030306984599
Call Number: DVD 943.004924 FLAT
Alternative Title: Flat
ha-Dirah
Dirah

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a
andreajesse
Sep 22, 2018

Don't let the low production values dissuade you from watching this fascinating movie. History is uncovered by accident while Arnon Goldfinger is helping his family clean out the flat of his recently deceased 98-year-old grandmother. She was a bit of hoarder holding on to all the stuff she brought from Germany to Israel and there was a lot of stuff. It's all interesting stuff, but most of it has to go. Arnon is interested in the stuff that reveals an almost unbelievable personal history. His grandmother and grandfather were and remained friends with a top-ranking Nazi official and his wife long after the war. Arnon meets up with the daughter of this official who welcomes him warm-heartedly and offers more details of the friendship, but is in denial of any Nazi connection. Arnon takes his mother to Germany. It is more emotional for her. These were her parents befriending the "enemy." Move over Ken Burns, this documentary is more personal, it offers a lot of letters, pictures, newspapers full of propaganda. This movie speaks to what I love about documentaries - the truth often reveals what is so much more interesting than fiction and often leaves us with no easy answers, but a lot of food for thought.

c
CurlyWhirly
Jun 09, 2018

In this autobiographical documentary The Flat, filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger travels to Tel Aviv to clean out the apartment of his recently-deceased German-born Jewish grandmother. Goldfinger begins an unsettling journey into his family's history and discovers that knowing the truth can be a terrible burden. Both arresting and heartbreaking, The Flat is a real-life suspense story about how the past can return to haunt the present.

a
akirakato
Jun 08, 2018

Written and directed by Arnon Goldfinger in 2011, this 98-minute documentary delves into the past of the director's Jewish grandparents.
The director has found that his grandparents were good friends with Leopold von Mildenstein, a leading officual in the Nazi propaganda ministry.
So what did his grandfather do in Germany before the end of the war.
The film turns out as a real-life mystery about how the past can return to haunt the present.

n
Nursebob
May 07, 2018

A very personal documentary which starts out as an exercise in family history yet soon touches on issues of selective recall, repressed memories, and the kind of apathy which results from being taught at an early age not to make too many inquiries. Goldfinger's mother knows shockingly little about her own parents and grandparents, a distant cousin living in Germany makes a jarring accusation, and the aging daughter of a former SS officer has real trouble sorting fact from fancy. It takes three generations to start asking questions about what happened during the war, according to one interviewee, because the second generation simply doesn’t want to talk about it. Intellectually stimulating yet resolutely informal—Goldfinger is not above letting people mug at the camera or film himself filming others—this is not so much a lesson in genealogy as it is a glimpse at a generation gap turned into a chasm by secrets and circumstances.

e
eliasmerkins
Dec 29, 2014

I liked this movie as it really reflects not only on the surprises that life present us when a loved one dies, but a clear example on how, sometimes, looking into the loved's ones belongings one can find incredible secrets.

harrybrowne Aug 23, 2014

A fascinating, bizarre, powerful true story.

a
AQUILEA777
Jul 11, 2014

Tediously drawn out, subjective and sentimental. Only a few minutes of worthwhile information. Protagonist thought good German Jews shunned former Nazi friends. He is chagrined to learn his grandparents did not. He was also strangely unaware that Nazi's and Zionists collaborated in the 1930's, and is shocked by this discovery. The film repeats the myth of murders at Theresienstadt, the model ghetto.

a
altwein1950
Oct 24, 2013

Although not perfect 'The Flat' is hugely worth seeing. My parents lived in Palestine too (but only till 1948), were once Jewish and from Germany but they left just prior to the creation of Israel. That said this doc was fascinating and compelling ride. As i am also preparing a memoir of family life for my daughter, the sleuthing and discoveries on the part of family members in this film was totally fascinating. This is a nuanced examination of parents lives revealing multiple facets, inexplicable contradictions and asking for forgiveness. Worth waiting for this!!!

voisjoe1 Sep 07, 2013

An Israeli filmmaker cleans out his German grandmother’s apartment after her death and finds that she had connections to both the concentration camps and Nazi exterminators. The filmmaker visits various locations in Germany and interviews descendents of both Nazis and Nazi victims to put the story together about what happened to his grandmother and others during that period. We learn about the reluctance of some descendents that wish to not think about their ancestors because of either guilt feelings or pain. A great documentary to help refute Holocaust deniers and to explore the feelings of Germans today.

btmslt May 24, 2013

A mixture of interesting and not so interesting. This film took a while to get into but there is some interesting history here.

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altwein1950
Oct 24, 2013

altwein1950 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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