Composed of interviews and original footage shot by its primary subject, “Remembrances” is a worthy but pretentious doc about an extraordinary man, Lithuanian-born filmmaker and freedom fighter Luis Frank, and the various lives he touched. Potential Oscar nomination bait for the documentary feature category given its Holocaust theme, pic could neatly fit a slot for Jewish fests and play well on hot-on-history cable stations.
A fascinating character, the globetrotting Frank (1899-2003) was at various points in his life a spy, a filmmaker, a soldier for the Leftist forces during the Spanish Civil War, and a savior of Jewish children from the Nazis, as well as a husband and father who finally settled in Mexico. Film incorporates Frank’s footage of the Hispanic conflict and other material. All is glued together with interviews from his peers and descendents, plus mannered shots recreating narrated scenes or just providing atmosphere, some of which feature an enigmatic black frame propped on the foreground for bonus artiness. Much musing on the nature of memory goes on, but a straighter, less compacted and elliptical telling would have made for a more engaging pic. Good tech credits overall.