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Final Account

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom

2021

1h 34m

Director Luke Holland

Starring

Genre Documentary

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A striking, powerful, and supremely urgent film about the last living generation of everyday Germans to participate in Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. The film focuses on not the soldiers, but the citizens who were eyewitnesses and sometimes active participants in the horrors of World War Two and the concentration camps.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

75

Slant Magazine by Chris Barsanti

Luke Holland’s stark and revealing documentary is a gift of memory to future generations, though it’s one that some will likely view as an unwelcome reminder of how everyday people can become complicit in incomprehensible evil.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

There are no heroes in Final Account, no one to empathize with. What makes it uniquely worth watching is its cast of octogenarians and nonagenarians who were eyewitnesses and in some cases active participants in the horrors of the concentration camps.
50

Variety by Jay Weissberg

Clocking in at a swift 90 minutes, Final Account is like a teenager-friendly approach to “Shoah,” designed as an introduction to issues of responsibility, guilt and the banality of man’s inhumanity to man.
63

Washington Post by Michael O'Sullivan

Final Account aims to provide insight into the psychological mechanism that would allow otherwise good people to stand idly by (or actively participate in) the perpetration of mass murder. As such, it’s only partly effective, and frustrating.
100

San Francisco Chronicle by Mick LaSalle

In the end, the power of Final Account resides in the way it shows how human nature reacts to lies, propaganda and state-sanctioned atrocity. Some people, looking for an excuse to do evil, will jump right in. A very tiny faction will risk all to fight against them.
75

Chicago Sun-Times by Richard Roeper

What makes Final Account so intriguing and, yes, so infuriating, is seeing and hearing from so many Germans who are near the end of their days and have somehow managed to make excuses, to rationalize, to distance themselves from the hell that was their homeland in the 1930s and 1940s.
80

The Guardian by Xan Brooks

Explicitly, his film shows how a hundred shades of grey combine to make a darkness. Implicitly, it warns that it could well happen again.