Like Weltschmerz and Fahrvergnügen, Vergangenheitsbewältigung is one of those German words that don’t quite have an equivalent in other languages: “working-off-the-past” has been a national project for the last sixty-odd years; it stands to reason that no other country has a history quite as heavy with guilt and horror to cope with. To be sure, the Holocaust has been the topic of countless films, but precious few address the legacy of the most efficient genocide in history as it confronts us today. With And Along Come Tourists, writer-director Robert Thalheim has made an understated film about a particularly sensitive place where past and present collide with unforgotten atrocities: the present-day town of Oswiecim, Poland, site of the Auschwitz extermination camp.
Read the rest of my review of And Along Come Tourists on About.com. At the reception following the MoMA screening, I had the distinct pleasure of being mistaken for the director several times. MoMA is screening the film, which doesn’t have U.S. distribution yet, as part of its Kino! 2007 program. You can catch it tomorrow at 2pm. Related: Yella and Q*Bert at the Holocaust Memorial.
Am Ende Kommen Touristen. Robert Thalheim, 2006. ****
The German trailer: