The Maelstrom - A Family ChroniclePéter Forgács
1942. A family sits gloomily at the table, in semi-darkness. The women mend clothes, their suitcases ready in the background. It is not the opening scene of a fiction film, but an amateur film of the Peereboom family, a Dutch-Jewish family that continued to film until the night before they were deported. The tragedy of the Second World War told through family films that - with the knowledge of what is about to happen in mind - strike you in the heart.
Throughout his career, Hungarian filmmaker Péter Forgács has enjoyed working with archival images as a means of reconstructing history. There are plenty of archival images of the Second World War and the Holocaust, but Forgács uses sources from that time that are rarely discussed: amateur films. This remarkable and striking addition to the official history documentaries is based on a collection of films made by the Dutch-Jewish Peereboom family in the period 1938-1942. Only one family member will survive the war. The images of the Peereboom family are supplemented with family films by Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the Reichskommissar for the Netherlands appointed by Hitler.
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Directed by Péter Forgács
1997 60 min.
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