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How important is it really to know your family history? Or is it just a heavy and unnecessary burden? The answer probably lies within each and every person. In my family's case, this question never even came up. To be honest, we never discussed anything about the past. That is, until we opened the closets in my grandmother's flat...
The flat on the third floor of a Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv was where my grandparents lived ever since reluctantly leaving their beloved Germany after the Nazis came to power in the 1930s. Were it not for the view from the windows, one might have thought that the flat was in Berlin. There it was, furnished with heavy European pieces, shelves filled with the best of German literature, laden with layers of dust and history.
And then, at the age of 98, my grandmother passed away and we, her family, were called to the flat to empty what was left.
Stacks of objects, pictures, letters and documents awaited us, revealing the complex lives of my grandparents Gerda and Kurt Tuchler, as well as traces of a troubled, puzzling and painful past.
Suddenly, in the face of my mother's ruthless house-cleaning, I, an unsentimental Israeli, found myself rummaging through every drawer, opening every envelope and trying to make sense of the hints left behind.
The film begins with the emptying out of a flat and develops into a riveting adventure, involving unexpected national interests, a friendship that crosses enemy lines, and deeply repressed family emotions. And even reveals some secrets that probably should have remained untold.
- Directed by - Arnon Goldfinger
- Distributed by - IFC Films
- MPAA Rating - Unrated