“It is a very strange story,” says Arnon Goldfinger, director of The Flat
. “Zionists traveling with a Nazi.” Indeed, it is a story so strange that, as the old adage says, it must be the truth. Setting out with the humble plan to film his family clearing out the Tel Aviv apartment of his recently deceased 98-year-old maternal grandmother, Goldfinger took an entirely different turn after the discovery of a disturbing amount of Nazi propaganda shoved away in her closet. As it turns out, Goldfinger's Zionist grandparents visited Palestine during World War II with Leopold von Mildenstein, who preceded the infamous Adolph Eichmann as head of the SS office of Jewish affairs. It was a relationship born of mutual interest: Both wanted the Jews out of Germany. Where things get weird is in the revelation that Goldfinger’s grandparents rekindled their friendship with von Mildenstein and his wife after the war, remaining in contact for years afterward. Stranger still, nobody in the family seems to care about this secret past—including his mother. Goldfinger remains remarkably even-keeled throughout, even as his search for answers consistently runs into brick walls of frustrating denial. He comes to few conclusions as a result. As an examination of how the tremors of the Holocaust continue to reverberate through generations of Jewish families, however, the lack of explanation makes the film all the more fascinating.
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