Fafner is new critic in Modern Times Review.

Noga Nezer turns a personal experience into a thought-provoking film about fear and stereotypes.

The German

Noga Nezer

Israel/Germany, 2018

A young woman inherits her grandmother’s old farm. Her name is Noga. The place is crumbling, the yard is overgrown and the house needs a serious tidying-up. The film starts out joyfully with Noga inviting her friends over, and while having a party they rummage through the cupboards. As is often the case with holocaust survivors, the grandmother was a hoarder.

This is the seemingly innocent beginning of a new documentary by Israeli filmmaker Noga Nezer, The German. It was screened at the Docaviv 2018 film festival in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. The farmhouse seems like a sinister time capsule of bygone days. The morning after the initial celebration, when the visitors have left, reality sets in.

«The film is about the very tangible traumas that many Israelis still have about the Holocaust.»

The German

A young man passes by and offers his help. He is polite, almost shy. He wants only to help – he does not expect payment. His name is Gunnar, and he turns out to be German. Noga accepts his offer, and he starts by clearing out the weeds in the yard. A few days later he suggests that he move in, and while helping in the house, he takes more and more control. A love affair develops between the two, but their relationship is undermined when Noga begins to suspect that Gunnar is plotting something.

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