June Zero

***

Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

June Zero
"A compelling yet gentle ride."

Shouldering the topic of Adolf Eichmann, the proponent of the mass extermination of Jews during the Second World War, would have proved daunting for most directors.

Jake Paltrow (known as the director of many episodes of the crime TV series NYPD Blue and the comedy The Good Night) keeps the war ogre in the background as a catalyst and finds a thoroughly entertaining way of discussing issues around the Holocaust.

He sets the film in the febrile period before Eichmann's execution, viewing the events through the diverse eyes and viewpoints of three characters: a precocious teenage Libyan who lands his first job in a metal factory and proves his worth; a nervous prison guard charged with ensuring nothing happens to his notorious captive pending an appeal; and a police investigative office who survived the horrors of Auschwitz.

The irony of the situation in which the factory workers have to construct an oven to deal with the eventual incineration of Eichmann’s body after he is hanged to death (in 1962, following the failure of the appeal) is not lost on Paltrow. Even more intriguing is the fact that Israel had no culture of cremation.

Paltrow deftly assembles the narrative into a compelling yet gentle ride as the country ponders whether “never to forget” or “always to remember.”

Although set in the Sixties the production avoids any tendency to nostalgia, coming across as much as a parable for our troubled contemporary times as a lesson from history.

Reviewed on: 04 Jul 2022
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Drama about the trial of Adolf Eichmann.

Director: Jake Paltrow

Writer: Jake Paltrow, Tom Shoval

Starring: Koby Aderet, Adam Gabay, Tzahi Grad, Tom Hagi, Rotem Keinan, Yoav Levi, Noam Ovadia, Joy Rieger, Ami Smolartchik

Year: 2022

Runtime: 105 minutes

Country: Israel, US

Festivals:

Karlovy 2022

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