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Harlan: In the Shadow of the Jew Suss


Veit Harlan was one of Nazi Germany’s most successful film directors, remembered today for his infamous Jud Suss. He was a master of national kitsch, exulting in melodrama and death, but he was also an extraordinary artist who ended up serving the Nazi propaganda machine. This documentary film presents the first account of his life and career. The film also shows how his family still struggles with the dark myth of artistic immorality.


  • Los Angeles Times
    “Compelling... Deeply fascinating, unexpectedly potent documentary... We come to see how Harlan's toxic legacy played out among the generations, shattering the haunted family in ways that are disturbing and surprising... Goes well beyond the bounds of historical investigation or cinematic analysis and becomes an examination of souls in torment of the most profound kind.”
    Kenneth Turan,
  • Jewish Week
    “Riveting! Felix Moeller offers a remarkably dense and detailed portrait of the ways in which Harlan’s most egregious film has riven his family. Moeller offers no final verdict on Harlan’s guilt, but the anger, pain and disdain of his offspring are a more severe indictment than any court could hand down.”
    George Robinson
  • The New Republic
    “(A film about) thirteen people who… whether they still bear the name Harlan or not, are descendants of the man who made one of the most successfully vicious of all Nazi films… The result is a fearfully fascinating, disturbing picture. Once again history devolves into irony.”
    Stanley Kauffmann
  • The New Yorker
    “Fascinating and troubling. (Harlan did) in fiction what Leni Riefenstahl did in documentary – to exalt an overwhelming mob united in thrall to its leader – and also to have celebrated an ecstatic cult of death.”
    Richard Brody
  • The New York Times
    “… weaves together generous archival material – home movies, photographs and clips from JEW SÜSS – and original talking-head interviews with assorted Harlan family members, including his son Thomas, a fascinating figure who could easily be the subject of his own documentary… largely interesting and thought-provoking.”
    Manohla Dargis
  • Time Out New York
    Joshua Rothkopf

Festival Participation

  • Berlin Jewish Film Festival
  • Telluride Film Festival
  • Boston Jewish Film Festival
  • UK Jewish Film Festival
  • Stockholm International Film Festival
  • Jerusalem International Film Festival
    Award for Preservation of Audio Visual Memory

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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