German-French film director Marcel Ophüls once said, “The Germans, unfortunately, are just like other people.” This touches at the very heart of this film, which poses the question of whether it is justified to condemn other peoples’ choices made in a specific situation.
The Memory of Justice takes as its starting point the Nuremberg trials in 1945 and 1946, in which central figures from the Third Reich stood trial. Ophüls’s almost five-hour-long document from 1976 was inspired by the book Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy by Telford Taylor, an American prosecutor at Nuremberg. Taylor speaks extensively in the film, as do dozens of others, including the British prosecutor Hartley Shawcross and Albert Speer, the architect of the Nazi regime.
Archive footage alternates with personal stories and philosophical reflections on guilt and innocence, in a film that questions the relationship between collective and individual guilt, and the existence of universally applicable morality.
The Memory of Justice is an important part of Hito Steyerl's Top 10 program. Unfortunately, the film is not available for public presentation due to its current licensing status, therefore there will be no screenings at IDFA 2021. We apologize to our audience.