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All Critics (14)
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The camerawork and editing often leave something to be desired. Most of the time, this doesn't matter, because we are drawn into the mystery.
"Aida's Secrets" starts out as a fairly straightforward documentary about reuniting two long-separated brothers, but directors Alon and Shaul Schwarz don't stop there.
One family's silences and lies unravel before our eyes in the gripping, intimate "Aida's Secrets."
Viewers will likely feel the urge to contact a genealogist after seeing Alon and Shaul Schwarz's fascinating and moving documentary about amazing revelations concerning their own family.
The remarkable tale it tells - of a family split up and dispersed to different continents, and the detective work required to figure out what had happened - turns this documentary into a fascinating mystery of reshuffled identities.
Aida's Secrets is not an incredibly artful doc...But the straight-ahead observation of this specific human story is powerfully emotional and affecting, particularly in the way it tracks the brothers' newfound relationship.
Co-directors (and extended family members) Alon and Saul Schwarz use clever editing to parse out the genealogical twists and turns in the story, although a final-act surprise is left hanging.
In the end, this isn't just a story about one family fractured by the Holocaust, but about the German nurse and the South African kindergarten teacher who would affect the trajectory of the clan.
Some 6,000 rescued Jews celebrated every sweet breath and soon produced 1,300 babies. What follows is a a hell of a generational human story, one that speaks to determination, cruel bargains and sacrifice
In that sense, "Aida's Secrets" carries a feeling of suspense that few documentaries achieve. The film's style is straightforward and intimate, eschewing fancy technique to focus on the gravity of its subject.
Even though Aida's Secrets lacks a big, satisfying payoff, there are small joys along the way.
Profoundly moving, warm, and captivating. A truly remarkable and unforgettable documentary.
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