Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss
What do you do when your last name is that of a man synonymous with anti-Semitic propaganda? Do you change your name? Do you lash back at accusers and proclaim your ancestor a misunderstood artist too naïve to be guilty? Do you battle in causes diametrically opposed to that legacy, as a way of expunging the stain? Do you live quietly, aware that it was not your fault but unable to stem the tide of guilt?
With the far-flung family of German filmmaker Veit Harlan, a favorite of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and director of the still-banned 1940 hate film Jew Süss, their reactions cover all the above. Felix Moeller’s studious and inquisitive documentary, Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss, investigates the man behind the film and the disquieting legacy he left behind…
Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss is playing now in limited release. You can read the full review at filmcritic.com.