DER Documentary

The Auschwitz Dialogues


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by Marian Ehret
color, 60 min, 2007




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Everyone knows the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz. But, have you heard of a small Polish town named Oświęcim? A young team of filmmakers arrives at this site, where a bizarre memory conflict between Polish and Jewish remembrances on the Holocaust takes place. The filmmakers find themselves caught in the crossfire of the conflict's parties.

While the Jews want to defend their right of memory connected to the sites of the camps, the Poles just want a normal life. Is it really that simple? Is Auschwitz primarily a site of Polish suffering? Do Jewish Holocaust survivors have the right to dispel the Polish inhabitants of apartments on the camp's grounds by force? Or do the Poles have the right to locate their settlements and wheat fields above the ashes of tens of thousands of gassed and burned Jews?

At the center of the conflict is the town's mayor, who thinks himself of as a martyr, but also finds himself in a small private war with the local museum. To many of the town's residents, this museum seems to be an instrument of Jewish power. The conflict affects many levels of society, from the town's inhabitants and their visitors, to Vladimir Putin and the residents of a local homeless shelter.

"A very important contemporary documentation." — ZITTY, Berlin
"Worth seeing." Tagesspiegel / Daily Mirror, Berlin
"While the comparative feature film And Along Come Tourists was sensitive, this documentary creates a shocking image." Wiener Zeitung / Viennese Paper, Austria

About The Filmmaker
Marian Ehret currently lives in Cologne and has studied Film, Media and Political Sciences as well as German Literature in Bavaria and in Krakow, Poland.

His documentary The Auschwitz-Dialogues continues to screen at festivals worldwide and was nominated for a prize at the Kassel Documentary Film festival in 2007. He is currently developing Crossing Borders, a documentary about the strange life of a Bavarian explorer and his experiences as one of only four Europeans ever to enter this Indian native territory in Brazil for a long time. Ehret will be Executive Producer and Co-director.

Ehret has published the novel Asia Rising and an essay Poland and the Holocaust about a history conflict among Poles and Jews related to the subject of The Auschwitz-Dialogues. His screenplay for the fictional film Kombinat (45 min, 2002) was semi-finalist in the Hollywood International Writers Competition, and the screenplay for Fathers of Dubai about the transformation of Dubai was highly recommended by the Director of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority as well as by the Emir of Dubai.

Marian Ehret works as a producer for the German-Moroccan production company Rif Film. He was the German Executive Producer of the Palestinian-German feature film Pomegranates and Myrrh by director Najwa Najjar that screened in Sundance, Dubai, Gothenburg and Rotterdam. Currently, he is the Assistant Producer of the German-Moroccan mini-series 24 h Marrakech now in post-production.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
A-38 Award Nomination, Kassel Documentary Film Festival, Germany, 2007
Theatrical Release, Austria, Mar 2009
Festival Internacional de El Ojo Cojo, Madrid, Spain, 2008
National Broadcast, Planet, Germany, Aug. 2008
Theatrical Release, Germany, Oct. 2008
Planete Doc Review, Warsaw, Poland, 2009
National Broadcast, Planete Polska, June 2009
Royal Anthropological Institute International Festival of Ethnographic Film, Leeds, UK, 2009
Broadcast, Bibel TV, Germany, 2009

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