(Tai Recanati, photo from Facebook)
Tai Recanati is Executive Producer of a new film directed by Janina Quint, GERMANS & JEWS. The documentary explores the often fraught relationships between Germans and Jews in the post-Holocaust era. You may view the GERMANS & JEWS trailer here.
Below in this blog post, Tai Recanati and Janina Quint jointly answer some questions about their thought-provoking film.
(GERMANS & JEWS Director Janina Quint, photo from Facebook)
1) What did you not know about the topic of Germans and Jews that you learned as a result of making this film?
We both learned how far Germany has gone to integrate the Jewish narrative into its own both on a state and grass roots level. The past is always present and influences the way Germany educates its youth, thinks about itself in the international arena, promotes a strong civil society, and debates its democratic values. This is an unexpected and remarkable achievement and the growing Jewish population in Germany is a reflection of these developments. In the past twenty-five years many Jews have immigrated to Germany and have remained there permanently. Jews in Germany have options to move within the EU or go to Israel but the majority stay.
2) What do you most hope that audiences take away from GERMANS & JEWS?
Many people outside of Germany know about the twelve years of the Nazi period, but very little about the seventy years that followed WWII. Germany today is a different country than it was immediately after the Holocaust. Our film aims to tell the story of this transformation through witnesses on both sides. Without an agenda or a prediction of the future we wanted to tell a story of change. Hopefully the audience will walk away with many questions and an open mind. The German-Jewish dialogue is most complex and sensitive, how could it be otherwise? Coming out of one of the darkest chapters of civilization, the German – Jewish conversation is very much alive and even hopeful.
3) Please share with us some interesting “behind the scenes” stories from the making of this film.
It is worth noting that the film developed out of a dialogue between Tal Recanati and Janina Quint, representing the post Holocaust generation of victims and perpetrators. Initially we intended to make a film about “Jewish life in Germany,” but soon realized that the psychological baggage and dynamics between Germans and Jews is the more interesting story and ties into our thirty year friendship.
4) Recently at the U.N., Israel was singled out as the only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health.” The U.S., Canada, Australia and even Paraguay voted against the resolution, but Germany voted in favor of it. What do you think of Germany voting at the U.N. to single out Israel as the world’s only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health”?
Our film, GERMANS & JEWS, has a broad message about the power of reconciliation. We hope our audience can imagine the possibilities such a process can have on any society.