The Flat (2012) — Israel
When the film maker Arnon Goldfinger's grandmother died at the age of 98, he had to clean out her flat in Tel Aviv. That was no small task since she had lived there for seventy years. Much of her stuff was summarily crammed into plastic garbage bags and tossed. Other items were taken by family members or sold to collectors. But the material things bespoke a personal history. Goldfinger knew almost nothing about his grandmother except one tantalizing tidbit. She was a Jewish immigrant from Nazi Germany who proudly maintained her German identity; all her books, for example, were German. Then he finds a commemorative coin with a star of David on one side and a Nazi swatika on the other. With considerable detective work, Goldfinger pieces together a bizzare and unsettling story of how his grandparents had a deep friendship with a high-ranking Nazi and his wife, not only before the war but after the war, and this despite the fact that his great-grandmother was murdered in the Holocaust. What to make of it all, especially with his mother Hannah, who knew none of this history, and even after learning it is uninterested and unmoved? "We didn't ask and they didn't tell," she explains to Goldfinger.