The daughter of Amon Goeth, the commandant of the Nazi's Plaszow concentration camp, attempts to come to terms with her legacy in "Inheritance," made by docmaker James Moll with a curious blend of sensitivity and slickness. Moll has a long list of Holocaust-themed films to his credit, including the Oscar-winning "The Last Days," so he brings a steady familiarity to the human drama.

With: Monika Hertwig, Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig.

The daughter of Amon Goeth, the commandant of the Nazi’s Plaszow concentration camp, attempts to come to terms with her legacy in “Inheritance,” made by docmaker James Moll with a curious blend of sensitivity and slickness. Moll has a long list of Holocaust-themed films to his credit, including the Oscar-winning “The Last Days,” so he brings a steady familiarity to the human drama. However, raw emotions and prettified filmmaking — including bright HD lensing and a treacly original score — make an unpleasant mix. Most intrigued aud may be Germans, but pic will also draw interest from Jewish-themed fests and cablers worldwide.

Moll came across the tale of Monika Hertwig while making “Voices From the List,” a doc programmed as a nonfiction extra on the “Schindler’s List” DVD package, and one of several projects (including the Shoah Foundation itself) on which Moll has collaborated with Steven Spielberg.

Having learned — in a bitter exchange with her mother Ruth Kalder — as a teen in the late 1950s about the extent of her father’s crimes, Hertwig says she wasn’t forced to confront the moral dimensions of the past until she saw Ralph Fiennes play Goetz in “Schindler’s List” as a homicidal maniac.

Hertwig’s reality encapsulates that of a generation of postwar Germans whose own generally liberal-to-left politics clashes with the sense that their families were involved with Nazi atrocities. She recalls, mystified, when told that her father was hanged in 1945 for killing countless numbers of Jews, how “I had never seen a Jew in my life!”

She had spotted Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig as an on-camera participant in Moll’s “Voices,” and learning that Jonas-Rosenzweig had been a maidservant in Goetz’ household, Hertwig wrote the camp survivor to arrange a meeting. After some delay, the meeting comes about, with Moll’s crew capturing the encounter at the ruins of the Plaszow camp.

The meeting proves cathartic for both women (with Jonas-Rosenzweig accompanied by daughter Vivian), and their walking tour of the Goetz home is indeed moving: One, as a German, feels guilt by association; the other possibly is haunted by survivor’s guilt.

But “Inheritance” remains more likely of value as an experience for these two women than it will to many viewers, who are kept on the outside looking in, despite Argentine composers Andres Goldstein’s and Daniel Tarrab’s excessively manipulative and strenuously romantic score. Actually more intriguing and disturbing, yet less explored here, is the strange relationship between Hertwig and her mother, and the open question of what made her mother tolerate living with such a beast.

Pic is not to be confused with Polish helmer Edward Porembny’s identically titled dark psychological 2005 drama.



Production: An Allentown Prods. presentation. Produced by Christopher Pavlick, James Moll. Executive producers, Chris Malachowsky, Ryan Malachowsky. Directed, edited by James Moll.

Crew: Camera (color, HD video), Harris Done; music, Andres Goldstein, Daniel Tarrab; sound (Dolby Digital), Marla Hettinger; supervising sound editor, William Levins; associate producer, Shannon Dill; second unit camera, Chad Wilson. Reviewed at Los Angeles Film Festival (competing), June 25, 2006. Running time: 75 MIN.

With: With: Monika Hertwig, Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig.

More Film

  • Richard Jenkins, Shane Paul McGhie Starring

    Richard Jenkins, Shane Paul McGhie to Star in Indie Comedy 'The Last Shift'

    “The Shape of Water” star Richard Jenkins and “What Men Want” actor Shane Paul McGhie have been cast in the independent comedy “The Last Shift.” The two will appear alongside Ed O’Neill, Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“High Fidelity”), Birgundi Baker (“The Chi”) and Allison Tolman (“Fargo”). Andrew Cohn is directing from his own script. “The Last [...]

  • The Band Doc 'Once Were Brothers'

    Robbie Robertson Documentary 'Once Were Brothers' to Open Toronto Film Festival

    “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” will rock the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary recounts the story of one of Canada’s musical legends — a man who served as both lead guitarist and primary songwriter on a group that introduced the likes of “The Weight” and “The Night [...]

  • Rounds

    Stephan Komandarev and Catalin Mitulescu Films Among Sarajevo's 23 World Premieres

    The latest films from Bulgarian director Stephan Komandarev and Romania’s Catalin Mitulescu are among 23 world premieres competing for the Heart of Sarajevo awards at the 25th Sarajevo Film Festival. Komandarev’s 2017 film “Directions” played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard and his 2008 opus, “The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner,” was [...]

  • Tommy JamesCousin Brucie 3rd Annual Palisades

    Tommy James Biopic 'Me, the Mob and the Music' in Development (EXCLUSIVE)

    Pop music star Tommy James and film producer Barbara DeFina are developing the biopic “Me, the Mob and the Music,” based on James’ autobiography. DeFina, whose credits include Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” and “GoodFellas,” and James have tapped three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall to helm the film adaptation from a screenplay by Matthew Stone (“Intolerable [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    Comic-Con: ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Cast Will Hit Reddit Live-Streamed AMA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Arnold is back — and he and other cast members of “Terminator: Dark Fate” are joining a first-of-its-kind live-streaming Reddit AMA on Thursday from Comic-Con International in San Diego. For the new installment in the “Terminator” franchise, Paramount Pictures and Skydance are hosting a traditional Comic-Con panel Thursday 11 a.m.-12 noon in Hall H. Then, [...]

  • Pedestrians walk past a large screen

    Johnny Kitagawa: Power, Abuse, and the Japanese Media Omerta

    Will the death of Johnny Kitagawa lead to a change of attitude by the Japanese media to the powerful Johnny & Associates talent agency that he formed? Public broadcaster NHK and others this week reported a warning to the company from the Fair Trade Commission over alleged pressure on TV stations to keep members of [...]

  • Jahmil X.T. Qubeka on Durban Opening-Night

    Jahmil X.T. Qubeka on Durban Opening-Night Film ‘Knuckle City’

    DURBAN–Dudu Nyakama is an aging boxer whose best fighting days are behind him. But for a man whose only glory has come in the ring, a big prize fight offers the one shot at saving his family, dragging him into the criminal underbelly of the gritty township he’s spent his whole life trying to escape. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content