TONIGHT: Go See Aftermath

The International House is playing the Polish movie Aftermath tonight (as I noted in yesterday‘s  Inquirer). You should go see it, as its probably not going to get a wider release. Check out this article for a taste of the broader controversy the movie is stirring up at 20131110_inq_cu1jawnts10-ahome. (Image courtesy of  Menemsha Films.)

This should give you a rough idea of what the movie is like: Aftermath is a bit like Straw Dogs, but with anti-Semitism and guilt instead of sexual violence and Neanderthalic gender norms.

The real power of Aftermath lies in its subversion of the notion that the Shoah was the sole handiwork of black-clad SS officers. It forces the brothers, and the audience, to look at the atrocities of WWII as not just a case of ideological insanity, but years when grudges, avarice, and prejudice were encouraged to flower among everyone.

Aftermath isn’t a love note to its homeland, but it serves a higher purpose by subverting an easy narrative of universal resistance to Nazism. That wasn’t true in Poland. Or Lithuania or Denmark or France. People benefited from, and participated in, evil. The moral aftermath of the most awful span of human history is largely a German burden. But not solely.


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