The films in this sidebar, pulled together from the 1920s, post-War period and late 20th century, challenge the false narrative that portrays Austria as the original "victim" of Hitler's imperialist expansion, despite that country's documented complicity with the Nazi war machine.
The economy in mythical Utopia is in the dumpster, and who is blamed? The usual scapegoat: the Jews. After the Jews are expelled, however, the economy, missing their invaluable participation, actually takes a turn for the worse, and Utopia begs them to come back. This 1924 silent Austrian satire is an object lesson in the absurdity of such thinking, and an unwitting prediction of the horrific events in Europe ten years later.Read More
CENTERPIECE DOCUMENTARY. In 1986 former United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim launched an election bid to become Austria’s president. But revelations suddenly surfaced that Waldheim had been a German army officer suspiciously close to Nazi wartime atrocities in the Balkans. A stunning chronicle of the heated race and its foreshadow of populist, right-wing demagogues from Donald Trump to Austria’s Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache.Read More
Vilnius was once known as the “Jerusalem of the North,” but by 1943 its vibrant Jewish community had been decimated from 80,000 before the war to only 600 survivors. Based on records from the 1963 ten-day trial of SS officer Franz Murer, known as the “Butcher from Vilnius,” this transfixing courtroom drama restages the vivid testimonies, World Jewish Congress conspiracy theories and unruly behind-the-scenes machinations of the case with an aptly titled “anatomical” intensity.Read More
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