One Day You'll Understand | Chicago Reader

One Day You'll Understand

Amos Gitai's sinuous visual style—the camera snaking through rooms and halls, our vision obscured as walls glide in and out of the foreground—is particularly appropriate to this moody, purposely ambiguous Holocaust mystery. In 1987, as the trial of Nazi butcher Klaus Barbie is unfolding on TV, a middle-aged French businessman (Hippolyte Girardot) pores over family documents, nagged by the suspicion that his Jewish mother (Jeanne Moreau), who married into a Catholic family before the war, sold her parents down the river to save herself. Gitai's reserve pays off handsomely at the midpoint, an explosively noisy and chaotic flashback in which the parents are arrested and shipped off to Auschwitz. But ultimately Gitai falls prey to his own formalism, concluding with a pair of symmetrical scenes that make an impressive rhetorical point yet leave the characters behind. With Emmanuelle Devos. In French with subtitles. 89 min.

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