Hitler’s Children

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Hitler’s Children

The Hoess family did everything they could to ignore the horror.
The windows were boarded up so that they couldn’t see the chimneys and the gas chambers from their mansion. Family photos show children playing outside and other idyllic scenes that don’t betray the presence of the camp. The only things they couldn’t ignore, explains Rainer Hoess almost 70 years later, was the stench of burned bodies and the thick layer of ash that covered the garden. His grandfather was the commander at Auschwitz, and his father grew up there. After a long time, Rainer finally managed to summon up the courage to visit the former concentration camp together with a Jewish friend. Hitler’s Children introduces us to close family members of prominent figures from the Nazi regime. They explain what it is like to have to live with the weight of their family history. Himmler’s great-niece married an Israeli Jew, Goering’s great-niece had herself sterilized, and the son of the camp’s executioner attempts to process his family’s past through writing. We watch Hitler’s traumatized children filmed in a suitably austere style – there are no eye-catching camera movements, no fast edits, and no dramatic musical flourishes. This style underscores the utterly earnest tone of the film and the fact that the German soul still bears deep scars two generations after the Holocaust.

Festivals and Awards:

2013 film festivals; 2012 film festivals; San Diego Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2013; Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2013; Vancouver International Film Festival, Canada, 2013; Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Greece, 2012; One World, Prague, the Czech Republic, 2012; Warsaw International Film Festival, Poland, 2012; Munich DOK Film Festival, Germany, 2012; Moscow International Film Festival, Russia, 2012; Boston Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2012; IDFA, the Netherlands, 2011

Director: Chanoch Ze'evi

Producer: Chanoch Ze'evi

Production Company: Maya Productions

Cinematographer: Yoram Millo

Editor: Arik Lahav-Leibovitz

Soundtrack Editor: Gil Toren

Original Soundtrack: Ophir Leibovitch

Supporter(s): The New Fund for Cinema and Television, Reshet, RTS, MDR, WDR, SWR

Script: Chanoch Ze'evi

Co-Production: Saxonia Entertainment Germany

Distributor: Cinéphil Distribution & coproduction

Subtitles: English, Hebrew

Film Name in Hebrew: ילדי היטלר

The Hoess family did everything they could to ignore the horror.
The windows were boarded up so that they couldn’t see the chimneys and the gas chambers from their mansion. Family photos show children playing outside and other idyllic scenes that don’t betray the presence of the camp. The only things they couldn’t ignore, explains Rainer Hoess almost 70 years later, was the stench of burned bodies and the thick layer of ash that covered the garden. His grandfather was the commander at Auschwitz, and his father grew up there. After a long time, Rainer finally managed to summon up the courage to visit the former concentration camp together with a Jewish friend. Hitler’s Children introduces us to close family members of prominent figures from the Nazi regime. They explain what it is like to have to live with the weight of their family history. Himmler’s great-niece married an Israeli Jew, Goering’s great-niece had herself sterilized, and the son of the camp’s executioner attempts to process his family’s past through writing. We watch Hitler’s traumatized children filmed in a suitably austere style – there are no eye-catching camera movements, no fast edits, and no dramatic musical flourishes. This style underscores the utterly earnest tone of the film and the fact that the German soul still bears deep scars two generations after the Holocaust.

Festivals and Awards:

2013 film festivals; 2012 film festivals; San Diego Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2013; Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2013; Vancouver International Film Festival, Canada, 2013; Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Greece, 2012; One World, Prague, the Czech Republic, 2012; Warsaw International Film Festival, Poland, 2012; Munich DOK Film Festival, Germany, 2012; Moscow International Film Festival, Russia, 2012; Boston Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2012; IDFA, the Netherlands, 2011

Director: Chanoch Ze'evi

Producer: Chanoch Ze'evi

Production Company: Maya Productions

Cinematographer: Yoram Millo

Editor: Arik Lahav-Leibovitz

Soundtrack Editor: Gil Toren

Original Soundtrack: Ophir Leibovitch

Supporter(s): The New Fund for Cinema and Television, Reshet, RTS, MDR, WDR, SWR

Script: Chanoch Ze'evi

Co-Production: Saxonia Entertainment Germany

Distributor: Cinéphil Distribution & coproduction

Subtitles: English, Hebrew

Film Name in Hebrew: ילדי היטלר

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