Jaffe’s Jewish Jive
Saturday night, Sept. 19, brought out the movie aficionados to see Germany’s nominee for next year’s Oscar for best foreign language film, “Labyrinth of Lies.”
Actually titled “Labyrinth of Silence” in German, the subtitled film had us bolted to the seats at the new SCADshow as the one of the world’s largest moral dilemmas unfolded on the screen.
We knew about Nuremberg, but many were shocked to experience a cinema verite of sorts about the German trials examining the shame, guilt (or not), and cover-up of everyday Germans’ roles in the Holocaust.
“Go along to get along,” but what if it’s your uncle? And would Germans seriously prosecute fellow Germans?
“I thought the movie was fabulous in the acting and the way it was presented,” Doris Goldstein said. “I knew the Germans covered things up, and many didn’t want to make waves. We could all see the moral quandary: not just the evil Nazi officers, but the middle ground, the ordinary person’s value systems.”
Stan Lefko, a lawyer and son of Holocaust survivors, said: “I thought the acting was well done. It was very thought-provoking as I was not aware of the German trials.”
Gail Solomon said: “I thought the movie was very moving and impactful. It is hard to believe that human beings could perform those atrocities and believe it was acceptable.”
“The movie was beautifully filmed and directed,” Jill Stoumen said. “Seeing it from the perspective of the Germans from 1958 to 1963 was very interesting. It was amazing to realize how much the Germans didn’t know about what had happened or didn’t want to know.”
She said the most powerful scene involved a German gentile going to Auschwitz to say Kaddish for a friend’s twin daughters who were killed by Josef Mengele. “We all left the theater emotionally drained but impressed with the experience.”
The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival event also showed off the Savannah College of Art and Design’s renovated SCADshow, the theater that has replaced the 14 Street Playhouse at Juniper. The change is, well, “WOW!”
“They did a remarkable job. It is clearly an example of a creative interior that SCAD was born to do,” Robyn Spizman-Gerson said.
A colorful, headdressed triptych painting and a Mid-Century cream credenza contrast with multihorned rams. Tangerine glowing glass and metal are perfectly placed for the most glitz.
The stage is framed by two ancient mummylike caryatids. It’s not the Fox in history or size, but the venue is a marvel of sass and cleverness. Opening a bathroom door — albeit inconveniently down three levels (an elevator is an option) results in Ricky Ricardo yelling, “Lucy, I don’t know what you’re doing in there, but you better hurry up and get out!”
The sightlines have some issues, Goldstein said. “I had trouble seeing well on the sidelines, having to peek through others to read the subtitles.”
SCADshow manager Brian Titshaw said: “The decor was overseen by President Paula Wallace and her husband, Glen, in collaboration with SCAD’s wonderful design group team. All of the art at SCADshow is created by our students, alumni, faculty or staff.”
The auditorium for the main stage seats 375 people. A second stage seats 160. Both stages can be rented out for community or private events.
“Our school is bursting with creative energy,” Titshaw said.
Stay tuned to see whether Atlantans cotton to paying for parking to see a movie.