A recently discovered cache of hundreds of personal letters, diaries and photos belonging to the Nazi Gestapo chief seems to reveal a thoughtful, loving husband and devoted father to his daughter. The documents first found in the Himmler family house in 1945 were hidden in Tel Aviv for decades and sold to the father of the Israeli documentary filmmaker, Vanessa Lapa. Through readings of Himmler’s and his family’s most personal writings and rarely seen restored film footage from key German archives, Lapa has fashioned a fascinating case study: a portrait of the man responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the Second World War, who thought of himself in heroic terms. Director Lapa stops by to talk about how cruelty can grow from an apparent normality, and when fueled by ideology, economical reality, a Fuhrer, a whole people and a state of the art technology, an individual who lacks self-confidence can become a hero in his own eyes and one of the biggest mass murderers in history.
Screenings at the Laemmle Theatre Music Hall 3, from Oct 10th on daily at 12:00 2:25 4:50 7:20 The screenings on Oct 10 – 13 will be followed by an Q&A with Director Vanessa Lapa.
“I found this film to be one of the most profoundly disturbing cinematic experiences in a life full of them.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
“At its most effective … “The Decent One” reveals a psychological portrait of a man devoted to his family yet consumed by a soul-blackening and horrifically destructive cause,” – Robert Abele, LA Times
“The Decent One once again posits that perhaps unanswerable question: How can seemingly “normal” people perpetrate the worst human atrocities?” – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
“A fabulous excursion into the deep mystery of evil” - Errol Morris
“‘The Decent One’ is rare film that at once advances the form of historical documentaries while simultaneously telling a riveting story from a new and wholly unanticipated and unexpected perspective. It features a wealth of new archival material, but it puts those images and voices to work in a novel way–the film is intimate, human, suspenseful, and terrifying, its momentum guided by individual self-delusion and the awful weight and fact of history.” – Ken Burns
Winner of the Best Documentary award at the 2014 Jerusalem Film Festival.