Focus Features has nabbed worldwide rights to Luke Holland’s “Final Account,” a documentary about the last living generation from Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. The announcement was tied to International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Focus plans to release the film — in collaboration with Participant Media — in the U.S. on May 21, 2021. Universal Pictures International will distribute the film overseas, excluding Israel.
“Final Account” was filmed, directed and produced over the course of the past decade by the late Holland, whose credits also include the docs “I Was a Slave Labourer” and “Good Morning Mr. Hitler.”
The documentary combines hundreds of hours of never-before-seen interview with men and women — ranging from SS members to civilians — to record their memories, perceptions and personal appraisals of their own roles in the Holocaust.
Variety praised “Final Account” following its world premiere at the 2020 Venice Film Festival. Critic Jay Weissberg wrote, “Holland’s most important achievement is the hundreds of hours of footage he shot, now archived, which will be useful to historian-ethicists grappling with the questions raised.”
Focus chairman Peter Kujawski called the doc “a vital look into history.”
“This film will serve as a record that helps us better understand the most tragic of moments in human history, but it also reminds us to contemplate how fragile the tapestry of civility always is and how severe the consequences become when any one of us, our friends or neighbors are willing to make the easy choice instead of the right one,” Kujawski said.
Along with Holland, the film was produced by John Battsek and Riete Oord. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Diane Weyermann executive produced, along with Andrew Ruhemann of Passion Pictures and Claire Aguilar.
Tied to the doc’s release, Participant is working in partnership with the Shoah foundation — a global organization dedicated to countering antisemitism — for educational resources.
“‘Final Account’ represents a decade-long commitment by Luke Holland to acknowledge and preserve history, and we are thrilled to be working with our friends and partners at Focus Features in bringing this vitally relevant and timely film to audiences worldwide,” said Participant’s chief content officer Diane Weyermann.