Matthew Lickona 1:30 p.m., April 16
The Flat (Ha-dira)
While sifting through the remains of his recently deceased grandmother’s apartment in Tel Aviv, Arnon Goldfinger came across documentation linking his grandparents - both refugees from Hitler’s Germany — with high-ranking Nazi minister Baron Leopold von Mildenstein. He then decided to turn his findings into a feature-length documentary. Instead of Bubbie and Zadie Were Huns, The Flat details the fascinating events surrounding Grandma and Grandpa Tuchler’s visit to Palestine with a pro-Zionist von Mildenstein (the Baron looked to Zionism as an answer to the “Jewish problem”), and the subsequent friendship the couple maintained with the former SS officer after the war ended. The dirty little family secret barely seems to faze Goldfinger’s mother, who is more intent on studying her parent’s ancient bank statements than giving credence to this newly found information. It’s as compelling a story as anything you’re likely to come across in contemporary fiction; not unlike this year’s Searching for Sugar Man, the events that unfold are the type that would be deemed unbelievable were they given a conventional narrative treatment. Unlike Sugar Man, very little thought went into the pacing or visual design, and The Flat amounts to nothing more than a highly-watchable “shoot now, figure it out later” affair. 2011.
— Scott Marks