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At age 98, director Arnon Goldfinger’s grandmother passed away, leaving him the task of clearing out the Tel Aviv flat that she and her husband shared for decades after immigrating from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Sifting through a mountain of photos, letters, files, and objects, Goldfinger undertook the complex process of making sense of the accumulated ephemera of a lifetime. In the process, he began to uncover clues pointing to a complicated and shocking story: a chronicle of the unexpected yet inevitable ethical ambiguities and repressed emotions that arise when everyday friendships suddenly cross enemy lines. In his award-winning, emotionally riveting documentary, THE FLAT, Goldfinger follows the hints his grandparents left behind to investigate long-buried family secrets and unravel the mystery of their painful past. The result is a moving family portrait and an insightful look at the ways different generations deal with the memory of the Holocaust.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 32
- Fresh: 27
- Rotten: 5
- Average Rating: 7.6/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: A film that begins as a family quest but evolves into a gripping study of know-don't-tell reticence and the umbilical tie of a lost homeland.
Fresh: I will salute the deftness and intelligence with which Goldfinger observes the reactions of the living to the revelations of the dead.
Fresh: This fascinating docu should easily attract crossover auds, and merits arthouse exposure.
Rotten: Arnon's filmmaking is flaccid, with TV-style interviews and rote reaction shots in place of cinematic imagery and deftly edited surprises.
This is a fascination study in compartmentalization, denial and above all, how how human beings deal with evil- in the aftermath of great evil- when their personal affections and biases conflict with reality and their own consciences. The filmmaker had no expectation of what he would uncover when he began filming the dismantling of his recently-deceased grandmother's apartment. Thus there is no agenda here and ultimately no judgment. Human feelings, confusion, discomfort, yes. The ending offers no conclusion or moral wrap-up. The viewer is left to his own contemplation.