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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Review - Remember

Director: Atom Egoyan - Canada, Germany 2015

In this cohesive, well-structured story, two nonagenarians living in a Jewish assisted-care home have connived an elaborate plan. Reminding Zev (Christopher Plummer), Max (Martin Landau) urges him to action. But, it is imperative that dementia-addled Zev follow wheelchair bound Max’s hand-written, minutely specific instructions. Initially, all proceeds smoothly. Zev’s first slip-up is averted through his young seat companion’s help. Conversely, his son deals with Zev’s annoying disappearance sure he cannot be far. In Cleveland, it turns out Rudy Kurlander #1 (Bruno Ganz) was in North Africa with Rommel during World War II. Phoning afterward, Max reiterates their goal—to track down the ex-Nazi guard living in America under an assumed name. The avenger is thwarted again in Canada, and Idaho where his encounter with a Nazi aficionado is perilous. For once, Zev calls and tells Max—with their aim embedded in his head—retribution is at hand. In front of a closely-knit audience, the nemesis indeed meets his match in a jaw-dropping, remarkable finale.

The milieu crafted by Canadian director Atom Egoyan, with Benjamin August’s amazing screenplay, draws us into the wolf hunt as it unhurriedly reaches a crescendo. Master thespians Plummer and Landau unselfconsciously occupy their characters, with stellar support from the cast. Dean Norris, Jürgen Prochnow, Heinz Lieven, and Ganz are very convincing, while cameo roles from children provide honesty, and innocence. Working in equilibrium are Mychael Danna’s music, Paul Sarossy’s camera, and Christopher Donaldson’s editing; their impressive collaboration ensures clarity. Society’s perception of oldsters is poked-fun at, just as preconceptions and inflicted prejudices are ostracized. Humorous bits are carefully laced throughout deflecting downheartedness in this unforgettable homage to genocide survivors. Scheduled for theatrical release in the USA and Europe, do see Remember should it open near you. (Marinell H.)

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