Perhaps a companion piece too many stellar Holocaust cinematic non-fiction is the late Luke Holland’s Final Account.
Heavily trimmed for a very manageable runtime from some three-hundred interviews the British filmmaker offers a less rigid impressionism with little context in linking talking heads to photography and clips that may won’t acknowledge.
Whether ordinary citizens those who grew up on the Hitler Youth or the Waffen SS, not to mention being part of an elite bodyguard unit — “there aren’t many of the heroes you’d expect to find.” Much of discussion with subjects in their 80s and 90s are at home or in assisted living facilities.
The sounds of a cello can be a little much as one woman notes that only ‘poor Jews were killed straight away.’ Complimentary dental service was provided at neighboring camps as Auschwitz as well as Mauthausen and Sachsenhausen. You see the denials, equivocations and evasiveness as self-preservation was noted by some, even of Jewish descent.
The credible, deeply researched testament includes the stone-cold ways of perpetrators, even the perils of functionaries and the common folk. The defiance and repercussions are belt in a more contrite Hans Werk. Part of the Waffen who would later speak to a Neo-Nazi group in their anti-immigrant stance.
Final Account does simmer notably in its concluding portions from the bystanders to the highly complicit even if it ironically proves how inconclusive a country’s coping with a malignant past moving forward can be. Especially in the jarring cases of close-up shots that underlines a lasting, horribly intimate loss. With many varied recollections of those still around from the 1930s and 40s that isn’t about digging into the inner, crucial explanations.