Directed by Tel Aviv-based documentarian Vanessa Lapa, “The Decent One” is a uniquely-told documentary on the life of Nazi military leader Heinrich Himmler, inspired by the recent discovery of private letters of correspondence between Himmler and his family. The film enjoyed success on the festival circuit, earning top honors at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
Featuring letters, diaries, photographs and restored film strips that were all never to be published, “The Decent One” takes its audience back in time to understand the Second World War from the perspective of what began as a middle-call German family but rose into the ranking Nazi elite, as Himmler became Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man. It is a film about the mind of a merciless man, questioning how someone so universally understood as a truly evil mass murderer could be placed on a pedestal and seen as so heroic by himself and his family. Himmler’s repression of guilt is the tread of the film, which acts also as an exhibition of these rare historical documents.
Kino Lorber has had four Academy Award-nominated films in the last six years, and seems to hope that “The Decent One” can join those ranks. It is set for an October 1 release at New York’s Film Forum before moving on to other American art houses, and most likely (given the distributors history) a wide VOD release.