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THE COMMANDANT’S SHADOW (in theatres)

After close to a two-month hiatus from imbibing in the transformative realm of film I sat forlornly with one other individual watching a documentary of such magnitude and wonder that I wanted to scream in frustration at the lack of attendance; here is an atrocious, catastrophic, historical truth of the past that screechingly resonates today: antisemitism is vibrantly alive, pervasive, percolating in the upper echelons, highest levels of intellectual society and scholarship in tandem with the stupid and nonrational. I am sickened but not surprised about its budding vitriol. Last year’s Academy Award winning “Zone of Interest” (reviewed January 6th, 2024) remarkably, majestically, with a soundtrack resoundingly, significantly echoing the horrors of hell. In “The Commandant’s Shadow”, with ultimate honesty directed and produced by Daniela Volker; Commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Hoss, stars in his autobiographical admittance of his culpability in the annihilation of millions of Jews, while living a bucolic lifestyle, with his wife and five children, yards from human conflagration. The perpetrator’s descendants gain recognition balanced by a survivor’s narrative: Hans Jurgen Hoss, the surviving son of Hoss along with his son, Kai Hoss (Christian preacher) tread through the Commandant’s autobiography of a sadist paired with survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a cellist, whose kraft saved her from elimination, and her daughter, Maya Lasker-Wallfisch, living in Germany, suffocating with second generation hubris.

Throughout, echoing biblical books Exodus, Deuteronomy and Numbers referencing ancestral iniquities passing from one generation to another or is history destined to repeat itself? Ambiguity “shadows” this prescient documentary but rises to a positive and enlightening conclusion when divergent paths momentarily intersect.

FIVE STARS!!!!!

Peneflix

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2 comments

  1. So glad you are back pointing us in the direction of what is worth our time. The Commandants Shadow is now a definite for us.

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