Danny Ben-Moshe (Moss) (director)
UK Jewish Film Festival 2023 (studio)
19 November 2023 (released)
22 November 2023
There are very few occasions when killing a human can be universally understood , and possibly condoned.
This documentary goes some way towards examining these questions though they can never truly be a right answer so wrapped are they in ethical and moral issues. But with the knowledge that the allegedly murdered were responsible for atrocities that to this day are still beyond belief, matters become clearer.
It may not be that well known but many Baltic Nazi collaborators fled to Australia after the war looking for a new life. Assuming new identities they seem to have been welcomed by the Australian authorities because they had some highly developed skills in espionage that could be put to good use against the growing new Soviet threat.
At the same time many Eastern European Jews made Australia their new home, to rebuild their lives after their experiences, most having lost many members of their family in the Holocaust.
Brothers Boris and Fima were two men who made the journey married and settled there. Boris had three boys, Fima one daughter (sadly deceased).
A casual conversation with his older brothers leads Jack to dig deeper into the rumour that his father – a resistance fighter against the Nazis – could have been responsible for the deaths of former Nazis in Australia.
Hiring a private investigator to dig deeper into the mystery the brothers – now all taking an interest - learn that while there’s nothing conclusive there are also too many coincidences. For example one of the men committed suicide blowing himself up. Bizarre yes but less weird when it’s learned that Fima was a explosives expert with the resistance.
Using interview footage of the brothers, archive photos and old-fashioned gumshoe investigation, the rumours start to take on flesh. Which begs the questions about Boris and Fima’s true motives for moving to Australia.
Certainly they both rebuilt their lives in the country being skilled artisans and plenty to contribute to Australian society. Though what comes to light is a network of possible conspirators and the shameful manner in which Australia dealt with the Nazi presence it had.
Directed by Danny Ben-Moshe (Moss), the film itself is an interesting, if a rather staid production with it ambling along with the brothers and PI’s hard research leading into the hard philosophical questions about the alleged actions of father and uncle.
Interviewing survivors of the Holocaust they are clear that they would have no compunction killing a Nazi if they had the opportunity. That I suspect many viewers will understand.
Revenge: Our Dad The Nazi Killer received its international premiere at the UK Jewish Film Festival 2023.