For almost a decade, Polish filmmaker Wladyslaw Pasikowski has been trying to produce a drama based on the real-life story of a village where Polish Catholics conspired in 1941 to murder hundreds of their Jewish neighbors without any help from the Nazis. After the film, Aftermath, was released, right-wing pundits, determined to ignore the past, lined up to denounce it as “anti-Polish” and untruthful.
Now playing in limited release, Aftermath is a powerful drama, if unevenly executed. My review is at Film Journal International; here’s part:
One of the most shocking things about the controversial-in-Poland film Aftermath is just how depressingly un-shocking it is for anybody with even a passing knowledge of the Holocaust. This isn’t a criticism of writer-director Wladyslaw Pasikowski’s work. Instead, it’s a sad commentary on just how off-limits aspects of the past apparently remain for some in Poland. History, this grim and tension-laced mystery suggests, can seem easier to bury than acknowledge. But it never goes away—as the death threats that one of the film’s actors received clearly show…
The trailer is here: