Harlan - Im Schatten von Jud Süss (Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Seuss)

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Many Germans who collaborated with the Nazi regime during the Third Reich later found themselves standing trial for crimes against humanity, but only one was an artist prosecuted for his work. Veit Harlan was a film director who, unlike many noted German auteurs, chose to stay in his homeland after Adolf Hitler rose to power, and made films under the supervision of the Nazi propaganda authorities. Harlan's best-known picture was Jud Süss (aka Jew Süss), a vehemently anti-Semitic drama that was required viewing for Hitler's top brass, a frequent attraction in Germany and occupied countries, and with the possible exception of Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will, the most notorious film to emerge from the Third Reich. Harlan was tried for his work as a Nazi propagandist, though he insisted he was coerced into making Jud Süss and other pro-Nazi films (a contention disputed by a number of his colleagues); two trials failed to convict Harlan, and he continued to work in Europe until his death in 1964. Filmmaker Felix Moeller presents a look at the life and work of this most notorious director in the documentary Harlan: Im Schatten von Jud Süss (aka Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss), which examines Harlan's career as well as the impact his legacy has had on his descendants, some of whom have struggled to right Harlan's wrongs while others have preferred to keep their distance from his tainted reputation. One of the distant relatives interviewed for the picture is Christiane Kubrick, Harlan's niece who later wed the great director Stanley Kubrick.


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Critic Reviews for Harlan - Im Schatten von Jud Süss (Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Seuss)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (4)

  • This movie is a one-trick pony. It depicts the efforts of Harlan's children and grandchildren, many who appear in the film, to clear his name from the taint of anti-Semitism. They didn't convince me.

    Jan 12, 2018 | Full Review…

    Ed Koch

    The Atlantic
    Top Critic
  • Psychobiography of this sort runs throughout the film, and Moeller lets it all unspool without undue editorializing. Some of the ironies are flabbergasting.

    Oct 11, 2015 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • A potentially fascinating topic is given a disappointing treatment.

    Jul 7, 2010 | Full Review…
  • As Moeller interviews all the candid and articulate surviving relations, we come to see how Harlan's toxic legacy played out among the generations, shattering the haunted family in ways that are disturbing and surprising.

    Jun 10, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Harlan must have felt he was the right filmmaker at the right place at the right time. Did he ever stop to think that his luck also meant the doom of millions? Moeller's documentary can't supply an answer. It does, however, make the rest of us wonder.

    Jun 3, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Moeller stirs up a hot broth of ideas about culpability, and the power of art for good and for evil.

    Apr 29, 2010 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Harlan - Im Schatten von Jud Süss (Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Seuss)

  • Mar 22, 2010
    What a waste of time. This could have been a good doc, and it had everything going for it. Great subject matter with plenty of footage, conflict within a family, Kubrick's wife, and Nazi's. Moeller turns what should have been a 30 minute doc into a 2 hour borefest. It's also about Harlan making Jew Suss and he only shows about 5 minutes of the whole film, so you never get to see how offensive it really was. It repeats itself over and over and you never learn anything about Harlan or his real influence during the Nazi Regime. Watch The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl if you want to see a great doc about a Nazi filmmaker, because this one is a total waste of time.
    cody f Super Reviewer

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