The Flat

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The Flat
November 11, 2012
Showtimes (change daily)

A mesmerizing Israeli documentary about a man who uncovers a trove of secrets in his grandparents’s flat

The flat on the third floor of a Bauhaus building in Tel Aviv was where filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger’s grandparents lived since they immigrated to Palestine in the 1930s. Were it not for the view from the windows, one might have thought that the flat was in Berlin. When his grandmother passed away at the age of 98 the family called to the flat to clear out what was left. Objects, pictures, letters and documents awaited us, revealing traces of a troubled and unknown past. The film which begins with the emptying out of a flat develops into a riveting adventure, involving unexpected national interests, a friendship that crosses enemy lines, and deeply repressed family emotions. And even reveals some secrets that should have probably remained untold. (Israel, 2011, 97 min., color, 35mm • In Hebrew & German with English subtitles • Director/writer: Arnon Goldfinger • Cast: Axel Milberg)

“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.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, NEW YORK TIMES

“Goes from intriguing to astonishing by way of unfathomable.” – Joe Morgenstern, WALL STREET JOURNAL

“**** 4 Stars! Ultimately, this is not a film about one specific event but about human nature – most notably, the instincts toward denial and delusion, acceptance and forgiveness. From start to finish, revelations abound.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS 

“In families, this fascinating film suggests, acknowledging or denying the darker truths of one’s legacy is a choice that must be made again and again, each and every day.” – Chuck Wilson, VILLAGE VOICE