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Meet the 2015 Tribeca Filmmakers #44: What It Means to Have a Nazi Father Explored in ‘A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did’

Meet the 2015 Tribeca Filmmakers #44: What It Means to Have a Nazi Father Explored in 'A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did'

READ MORE: Meet the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Filmmakers

David Evans’ documentary “A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did” explores what it means to grow up as the child of a mass murderer. While studying the Nuremberg trials, a lawyer becomes interested in the histories of two men, both sons of famous Nazi Governors. The men have completely contrasting perspectives on their father’s involvement in the war, and “A Nazi Legacy” explores this curiosity, ruminating on the nature of individual perception. 

What’s your film about in 140 characters or less?

Three men journey through Europe to the killing fields of war-time Poland; one of them is Jewish, the other two are sons of senior Nazis.

Now what’s it REALLY about?

It’s about the massive swells of historical destiny and the tiny moments that stay in a person’s memory forever: about the roots of Ukrainian nationalism in the bloody turmoil of the Second World War, and about the time when an unloving father dabbed a bit of shaving foam on his little son’s nose; about a happy childhood shattered because Hitler was defeated, and about the origins of international criminal law as we now know it; about a Jewish man who escaped the Nazis, and his grandson, who wanted this story to be told…

Tell us briefly about yourself.

I’ve made documentaries – including some I still like, one about Andrea Dworkin, one about Angela Carter – but mostly I make drama for UK television – ‘Shameless’, ‘Downton Abbey’…

What do you want the Tribeca audience to take away from your film?

A new way of thinking about the relationship between justice, memory and love.

Any films inspire you?

All the time – but for this film specifically, no – it grew into itself – we weren’t aiming to make it resemble anything else that dealt with the same period of history, or the same issues; and in fact we did everything we could to avoid falling into an established genre of documentary.

What’s next?

I’m working on two micro-budget features, one about the recording of an album in Wales in the 1970s, one set in the 9th century concerning a band of raiders on the coast of the Baltic.

What cameras did you shoot on?

Canon C300, Sony PMW F5 and a multicamera shoot using a set of Sony PDW800s…

Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2015 festival. For profiles go HERE.

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