Fascinating tale may look small but reps a big chunk of Holocaust history not well known but emblematic of stories yet untold. Beautifully assembled docu, combining archival material and interviews with elderly survivors of Norway’s Nazi era, profiles Moritz Rabinowitz, “The Man Who Loved Haugesund.” Title refers to a mid-sized Norwegian seaport that never quite loved him, as suggested by the persistent (if mild) anti-Semitism of his fellow citizens. Docu is top flight pubcasting fare for any market, and sure to do be embraced by Jewish fests across the board.
The ambitious Rabinowitz came from Poland to build up the largest department store business in the Scandinavian country’s prewar history and was also a prescient anti-Hitler activist, writing bold editorials for papers across Europe. Naturally, this gadfly behavior made him the number-one target when Germans invaded Norway, and the big chase provides a dramatic denouement. The fact that he was done in when he couldn’t leave his pregnant daughter behind adds emotional kicker. Production is smooth in all details.