Hitler's Children

Chanoch Ze'evi, Israel, 2011, color, video, 60'
Synopsis

The Hoess family did everything they could to ignore the horror. The windows were boarded up so that they couldn't see the chimneys and the gas chambers from their mansion. Family photos show children playing outside and other idyllic scenes that don't betray the presence of the camp. The only things they couldn't ignore, explains Rainer Hoess almost 70 years later, was the stench of burned bodies and the thick layer of ash that covered the garden. His grandfather was the commander at Auschwitz, and his father grew up there. After a long time, Rainer finally managed to summon up the courage to visit the former concentration camp together with a Jewish friend. Hitler's Children introduces us to close family members of prominent figures from the Nazi regime. They explain what it is like to have to live with the weight of their family history. Himmler's great-niece married an Israeli Jew, Göering's great-niece had herself sterilized, and the son of the camp's executioner attempts to process his family's past through writing. We watch Hitler's traumatized children filmed in a suitably austere style - there are no eye-catching camera movements, no fast edits, and no dramatic musical flourishes. This style underscores the utterly earnest tone of the film and the fact that the German soul still bears deep scars two generations after the events.

Wanted: Youth Jury! September 30, 2014 | Every year, a selection of films from the IDFA program compete for the IDFA DOC U Award, given out by a youth jury. Do you want to have a say about the winner, and are you between 15 and 18 years old? Then apply now!
IDFA 2014 presents theme program Of Media and Men September 23, 2014 | A theme program investigating the mediated interaction between the people and their governments will be presented at IDFA 2014. Of Media and Men encompasses a film program, several new media projects in IDFA DocLab and a Paradocs program curated by visual artist Aernout Mik.
In Memory of George Sluizer September 22, 2014 | With great sadness IDFA has learned of the death of Dutch cineast George Sluizer at the age of 82. Sluizer was a prominent voice in Dutch and international film culture, working both in documentary and in fiction.
IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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