Directed by Nurith Aviv

30 minutes / Color
English subtitles
Release: 2010
Copyright: 2002

"Mourning is regularly the reaction to the loss of a loved person, or an abstraction which has taken the place of one, such as fatherland, freedom, an ideal, etc." —Sigmund Freud

Director Nurith Aviv quotes Freud's simple definition of mourning and loss as it relates to the first post-war generation of Germans and the historical experience of Jews. With the backdrop of a muted and autumnal Berlin, influential German Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt and prolific actor Hanns Zischler (MUNICH) among others ruminate about the extinguishing of German Jewish life and culture and the lasting intellectual, moral and spiritual void that loss has meant to their fatherland.

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Aviv, a noted cinematographer whose ancestors came from Berlin, has created an elegiac portrait of a homeland that can never exculpate itself from the ghosts of the Holocaust.

"A briskly straightforward work, highly intelligent and ultimately quite moving." —The Jewish Week

"Anchored by a fascinating clip from a 1964 interview with an agitated, cigarette-waving Hannah Arendt, the film is an eloquent reminder of the ineluctable link between language and history." —The New York Times

"A gem; an exceptionally intelligent film." —Le Monde

"That Germany should be in a continual state of collective mourning is not surprising or perhaps even unjust. LOSS is an unusually brave and sober effort that deserves respectful attention." —Anthropology Review Database

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Select Accolades

  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
  • Chicago International Documentary Film Festival
  • Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma
  • Festival du Réel 
  • Viennale Film Festival
  • Visions du Réel Documentary Film Festival
  • Jerusalem International Film Festival


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